With Affordable Fares And Growing Connectivity, Can Vande Bharat Trains Beat Domestic Airlines?

by Shreya Shriyan
With Affordable Fares And Growing Connectivity, Can Vande Bharat Trains Beat Domestic Airlines?

With the introduction of the Vande Bharat trains came the good news of affordable domestic travelling with reduced travel time. But, while this is good news for the rail sector, is this supposedly going to be a threat to domestic airlines? The train services’ growing popularity may soon pull away travellers from flying domestically. 

Vande Bharat Trains May Leave Domestic Flying Behind

Vande Bharat Trains, domestic airlines fares,
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Domestic airlines in India may soon face a new threat to business, with the growing popularity of the Vande Bharat trains. With affordable prices, spacious seating and good service, the train service may soon be the preferred choice for travellers. 

The plan is to launch 100 more such trains in the coming three to four years, to expand the availability of the service. This could mean that more people would opt for the service, leaving domestic airlines to fend for themselves. 

Despite it already being 4 years since the first Vande Bharat Train opened, the speedy growing network of these trains paired with their assurance of speed and pocket-friendly prices is only acting in the favour of the train service. It also doesn’t hurt that the train service offers comfortable seating and a lack of baggage and security complications. 

This is expected to not only keep airfares in line but also push airlines to rethink their network strategies, reports Moneycontrol.

Also read: Indian Railways To Reduce Fares Of Vande Bharat On Certain Routes; All The Deets Here

Domestic Airlines May Soon Witness A Drastic Downfall

reduced train prices in india, domestic flights in india,
Image Credits: Canva

Currently, 35 Vande Bharat trains are operated under the Indian Railways. These trains come equipped with Wi-Fi, bio-vacuum toilets and CCTV surveillance. While the train has a top speed of 180kmph, for safety reasons, they operate at a much lower speed. 

The launch of the train services on the Thiruvananthapuram-Kasaragod, Delhi-Jaipur and  Mumbai-Pune, routes over the past few months, has affected the airfares of these sectors. The airfares have fallen by 20-30% from April, states a report from Moneycontrol. 

As per the reports, Chennai to Bengaluru’s average airfares has fallen to close to ₹1,500-₹ 2,500 in June and July. This is a stark decline from around ₹3,000-₹4,500 in April and May 2023. Similarly, regular fares on the Mumbai-Pune have fallen to around ₹2,800-₹3,500 in June and July from around ₹4,000-₹4,500 in April and May. 

In addition to this, fares on the Delhi-Jaipur route have fallen to around ₹2,700-₹3,500 in June and July from around ₹3,500-₹4,500 in April and May, stated reports. The train service’s growing popularity is not the only reason for its top position. 

Also Read: Vande Bharat Express Has A New Look; Reveals New Colourway Inspired By ‘Tricolour’

The services’ discounted rates and various offers also work to attract travellers. Earlier this month, the Indian Railways reduced ticket prices on Vande Bharat, Anubhuti, and Vistadome coaches. The offers were up by 25 per cent on routes with low passenger occupancy, reported Moneycontrol. 

Have you travelled by the Vande Bharat trains yet? And if so, do you believe the services will soon take over the domestic airline industry? Let us know in the comments.

Cover image courtesy: Wikimedia Commons