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Delhi smog and runway closure to dent travel plans

Posted : 09 November 2017 04:29:21 | By TWO Bureau | Two Bureau

Delhi smog and runway closure to dent travel plans

According to a report by Anumeha Chaturvedi in The Economic Time, the alarming levels of smog and pollution and the closure of the runway at the Delhi airport will likely affect the itineraries of incoming travellers in the busiest tourist season for the Indian capital, where the winter is gradually setting in. 
 
Hotel chains such as Carlson Rezidor, which runs the Radisson, and Country Inn and Suites, the STIC Travel Group, portals Cleartrip and Yatra, and Cox & Kings said the surge in flight fares and pollution will lead to inevitable cancellation and a dip in hotel and flight occupancies in the coming days, with travellers rerouting itineraries and, possibly, opting out of Delhi. 
 
The UK has updated its travel advisory for India citing the runway closure at South Asia’s biggest airport, which may lead to flight delays and cancellations. 
 
“The runway closure has led to travel disruption for the next two days and travellers are postponing their plans by a few days to avoid paying exorbitant fares,” said John Nair, Head, Business Travel, Cox & Kings. 
 
Air Travel data shared by Cox & Kings for the next few days sum up the mood. For instance, tariffs of incoming evening flights into Delhi from Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad for November 8 and 9 are skyrocketing, with one way fares running beyond INR 20,000-25,000. Evening flights for November 9 from Bengaluru and Mumbai are steeper, hovering around INR 26-27,000. 
 
Fares have surged because of the closure of runway 29, the longest at the country’s busiest airport, for maintenance. 
 
 
“Delhi airport is India’s busiest airport in terms of traffic. Any operational hiccups are bound to affect travel negatively. We see a 4.9% drop in bookings for air travel originating in Delhi from the daily averages for the dates 7-10th November,” said Balu Ramachandran, Head, Air and Distribution, Cleartrip. “There is also a 5% increase in cancellations by customers for the next few days. Some airlines have announced flight cancellations and are providing a refund or alternative flight options.” 
 
Subhash Goyal, founder chairman of STIC Travel Group, said that while group tours have not been affected yet, inbound individual overseas travellers are cancelling and postponing their Delhi plans, citing concerns around smog and air pollution. “This will significantly dent plans in the coming days,” he said. 
 
Raj Rana, CEO, South Asia, Carlson Rezidor, said weather conditions will hit travel plans and occupancies in the next few days. In this weather, people travelling to nearby places such as Agra cancel their road trips, affecting occupancies. Carlson has the Radisson Blu Plaza located in close proximity to the Delhi airport. 
 
Sharat Dhall, COO (B2C) at Yatra.com, said he expects occupancies in four- and five-star hotels to fall in the next few days, with business travellers cancelling plans.



Tags : Delhi, smog, runway, closure, dent, travel, plans


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