Those customers looking to buy a cheap flight to India over the next few weeks are struggling to find a price they can afford. Even though we are in the shoulder season for travel to India prices remain high. Air India has substantially increased prices on their direct flights from Canada to India and many other carriers do not have available seats which means higher prices. Over the past few weeks, there have not been any additional announcements for flights to India via Asia or Europe to India. While we are hoping for increased service and more competition in the Indian market, in the next few months we may be facing a situation where there is not a significant reduction in prices. We are hopeful if airlines continue to make a large profit on the route from Canada to India it will entice new entrants into the market.
One change we are seeing due to high prices is customers booking early for the fall, this is a massive change from what we had seen in past years. Previously customers would wait until the last minute to book a cheap flight to India as the European carriers were dependent on this traffic to fill flights via Europe in the winter. Now with so much pent-up demand and such a large Indian diaspora all over the world, many are looking to book flights 6 months in advance, this was unheard of pre-pandemic. Airlines are gladly taking these early bookings to get some money on the books, but while prices are high, many are concerned they will go up further by the time the peak India travel season rolls around.
For passengers departing from Toronto looking for flights to New Delhi this Spring, they are paying a large premium to fly on Canada to India direct flights. If you are travelling in March for one month, the Air Canada direct flight to Delhi will cost almost $3100, but if you are willing to travel via New York there are much lower fares available with American Airlines available for only $1900. One option some customers are looking at, is flying one-way on the direct flight, and coming back on another airline as the returning flights are much busier due to student traffic coming to Canada. Passengers who are booking early for fall flights from Toronto to India, Air India has seats are available from $2880, and the cheapest flight to New Delhi continues to be on American Airlines for $1900.
For clients looking to depart from Vancouver to India and want a cheap India flight, there are not too many options available with most having no choice but to fly with Air India. To purchase a ticket on this flight in the Spring it is will set you back $2900. If you are looking to save a few hundred dollars you can book a flight with Air Canada through Toronto and with Lufthansa via Munich on your return, but you are still looking at a cost of almost $2600. If you are ready to purchase a ticket for the fall now, Air India has flights available from $2066 on their direct flight, or if you want to save some money the cheapest flight this fall is currently with All Nippon Airlines via Tokyo which will save you about $100, but you will have to overnight in one direction and have a long layover in the other.
Overall, there have not been any significant changes for customers looking to find a cheap flight to India over the past few weeks.
Much of what we are seeing is customers booking earlier to lock in a price rather than wait until the last minute, hoping for something cheaper. We can never know which strategy is the right one until it is too late, but based on what has happened in the past 12 months those who did book early were able to secure a cheap flight to India and those who did not pay more.
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