Vistara Flight Cancellations Spark Flier Discontent, Potential Fare Hikes Loom

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The recent crisis at Vistara Airlines, with over 100 flights canceled this week, has triggered dissatisfaction among passengers and raised concerns about potential airfare increases. 

As disruptions continue, travelers face delays and cancellations, prompting them to seek alternative options and driving up demand for flights with other carriers.

With India already experiencing a supply-demand gap in air travel, exacerbated by the ongoing Vistara crisis, experts warn of a possible surge in airfares. Ajay Prakash of FAITH emphasizes that any reduction in flight capacity is likely to impact fares, particularly during the peak summer travel season. Disgruntled Vistara passengers are increasingly opting for alternative airlines, further straining the available capacity.

The situation has led to a surge in cancellation requests, with online platforms like Cleartrip reporting a significant number of requests related to Vistara bookings. Sanjay Dang of Le Travelworld notes a 15 percent increase in domestic airfares due to the existing supply-demand gap, anticipating further hikes if the Vistara crisis persists.

Passengers recount their harrowing experiences, from receiving last-minute cancellation messages to facing exorbitant last-minute booking costs with other airlines. Advance bookings with Vistara have been impacted as travelers turn to more reliable options. .

The broader aviation industry is grappling with supply chain issues and engine failures, adding to the strain caused by the Vistara crisis. With a significant portion of the Indian airline fleet expected to be grounded by March 31, 2024,.

Sources said the impact on airfares is expected to diminish over the next few days as the number of flight cancellations reduces and the airline normalises its flight schedule.

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