As ticket prices surge, India has increased flight caps to the United Kingdom. Starting Monday, airlines will be able to operate 60 weekly services between the two countries, doubling the previous caps. The decision comes after passengers traveling from India saw ticket prices reach as high as $5,000 to fly to the UK.
According to Moneycontrol, India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) has doubled flight caps between the UK and India. From Monday, 16th August, airlines will be able to operate 60 weekly flights between the two popular markets. These rights are split 30-30 between British and Indian airlines, as was the decision before.
In this allotment, Air India has received 26 weekly flights while Vistara will fly four rotations. The exact change for Virgin Atlantic and British Airways has not been announced yet, but expect to see both airlines bump up weekly services. So why has the government chosen to do this right now?
The decision to double services between the UK and India comes after many demanded a reduction in flight prices. Since early August, flight prices from India to the UK have increased by 300% as travel rules are eased and university travel has commenced. Airlines have squarely placed the high prices on the shoulders of the government’s restrictive flight caps.
With ticket prices selling at anywhere between ₹121,000 ($1,628) to ₹395,000 ($5,360) for a one-way flight from New Delhi to London, passengers quickly requested the government to ease its caps. Now that flights will double, prices will come down quickly, but could remain above usual levels.
Just earlier this week, MoCA said that it would not be easing caps and said that passengers would have to pay over ₹100,000 ($1,350) to fly in August. However, fast forward four days, and the government has listened to the growing chorus of passengers demanding more services. Flights prices to the US, which were even higher at one point, have also begun coming down due to more options and lower demand.
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Flurry of action
August and September are busy months for airlines flying from India. Hundreds of thousands of students and their families pack their bags to head to universities around the globe, mainly in the US and UK. For airlines, this is a huge, month-long bane, and sees it roll out offers to lure customers.
However, COVID has upended previous travel norms. In January, India reduced the number of flights due to the Alpha variant that emerged in the UK. However, even as the situation changed, Indian regulations remained the same. Now, with the Delta variant dominant in both countries and demand rising, passengers were stuck with few flights.
Today’s announcement will be a huge relief to thousands of travelers due to fly this month. Keep an eye out for more updates on airline schedules and reducing prices in the coming days!
What do you think about India’s decision to raise flights? Let us know in the comments!