The festival season is upon us and domestic travel is speeding up. Rail bookings in October have surpassed pre-COVID-19 levels, and demand for air travel too has recovered from the impact of the second wave of the pandemic.
Long queues, a crowded terminal building, machines breaking down, missed flights and frayed tempers — this is how passengers described the scenes at Mumbai airport last week. On Sunday, passengers posted pictures on social media of Delhi airport with serpentine queues at the entrance to the airport building.
Numbers tell the story behind these images.
As per data from the Indian Railways, net passenger booking (reserved) in the first eight days of October this year stood at 225.95 lakh, up nearly 74% from 130 lakh bookings in the same period of 2019. The Indian Railways’ net revenues for the period under review also rose 43% to ₹1,066.85 crore as against ₹745.66 crore during the first eight days of October 2019.
As on October 8, the Indian Railways was running 1,701 mail/express trains daily on an average, including holiday specials, which is only marginally behind pre-COVID-19 average of 1,768 trains.
The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which is the sole entity authorised to offer online railway ticket booking services