India has a well connected and developed rail transportation network throughout the country. The benefit of having this network is that the people have the choice of alternative modes of transportation. Though air travel is faster than the rail-based travel, at times it becomes too costly for people to afford travelling on supposedly cheap flights. So, the rail transportation medium provides the alternative despite this being slow. The current decline in the number of passengers travelling on flights and increase in the railways passenger bookings is an indication that the rise in the prices of the flight tickets has been hurting passengers now.
The recent report of Director General of Civil Aviation points to this fact that the number of passengers travelling on airplanes has been declining for the last few months. This trend of moving away from air travel towards rail travel has been due to rise in prices of air tickets and the general state of uncertainty associated with the flight schedules. The uncertainty element in air travel has made the people to make a shift to railways even when cheap flights are being offered. This trend is the opposite of the one which was seen a few years before when the people preferred to opt for higher transportation medium of air travel due to low air fares as compared with the slower rail travel.
Airlines increased the prices of their tickets first due to the increase of fuel prices and later on due to depreciating rupee against the dollar. The increase in prices has also been due to the reduction in seats availability on different sectors because of the woes of Kingfisher Airlines and Air India.