Vande Bharat Trains Cause Airfares to Drop by 20%-30%
The launch of Vande Bharat trains, a pride of Indian railways, has resulted in a significant drop of 20%-30% in airfares. This data, a game-changer in the travel industry, is inspiring the railways to enhance their services and revenue generation from non-fare sources.
For the first time, Indian railways are tracking the demand for Vande Bharat trains based on the gender and age of passengers. Data collected by the Central Railway reveals that the majority of passengers using Vande Bharat trains in Mumbai fall within the age group of 31-45 years, closely followed by the age group of 15-30 years.
This comprehensive data also includes the number of male, female, and transgender passengers traveling on the four Vande Bharat routes of the Central Railway, covering journeys to Shirdi, Goa, and Solapur from Mumbai between September 15 and October 13. During this period, a total of 85,600 males, 26 transgender individuals, and 57,838 females utilized the Vande Bharat train services.
Shivraj Manaspure, the Chief Public Relations Officer of Central Railway, pointed out, “During this period, children aged 1-14 years constituted approximately 5% of the total passengers, while transgenders accounted for 4.5% of the passengers traveling in Vande Bharat. According to industry estimates, there has been a remarkable 10-20% decrease in air traffic and a corresponding 20%-30% drop in airfares after the introduction of Vande Bharat trains.”
To popularize Vande Bharat trains and increase their ridership, the Indian railways are employing a range of strategies. Recent data on train occupancy rates from Mumbai to Shirdi, Madgaon, and Solapur in September reveals a remarkable range of 77%-101%. Railway officials explain that the occupancy of a train depends on passengers boarding at different stations along the entire route, sometimes exceeding 100%.
“This macro data will assist the Indian Railways in generating revenue from non-fare sources. Gender and age data will prove valuable to industries seeking to advertise with the railways, allowing them to target their advertisements effectively on seats, trays, headrests, and other parts of Vande Bharat trains. This information will also aid the railways in planning improvements in services, food menus, and other amenities,” stated Paresh Rawal, a Public Policy Analyst specializing in Mobility and Transportation.
The impact of Vande Bharat trains has not only been felt by the railways but also by the broader travel and aviation industry. With airfares witnessing a notable decrease, passengers now have more travel options at competitive prices. This shift in the transportation landscape underscores the significance of providing quality and cost-effective travel alternatives to the public.
As Vande Bharat trains continue to gain traction, the railways are poised to revolutionize the passenger experience and drive the growth of the transportation sector in India. The integration of gender and age data into their planning not only makes travel more inclusive but also presents an opportunity for businesses to align their services with the evolving needs of passengers, creating a win-win scenario for all stakeholders.