Among air travellers, it’s common wisdom that booking flight tickets early translate into cheaper fares.
But a persistent, unanswered question is: how early?
According to a year-long research conducted by MakeMyTrip.com, an Indian online travel services firm, Indian travellers got the best deals—that is, the cheapest fares—when they purchased tickets between 61 and 90 days ahead of the travel date.
When tickets are booked two to three months in advance, the average fare for flights to any airport in India is Rs3,606, according to MakeMyTrip. The average flight cost to one of the more crowded airports in India—in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Bengaluru—is Rs3,153 during this period.
The data, which was collected between Oct. 10, 2014 and Oct. 10, 2015, also showed that the worst period to book tickets was less than seven days before departure.
Moreover, within India, travel plans made between July and October turned out to be the most inexpensive—as that coincided with the pre-holiday season that starts October onwards.
Fly away to another land
The following table shows the cheapest routes from an Indian city to an international location. The average fare is only a one-way fare—and not roundtrip.
In addition, MakeMyTrip calculated the top five international routes from Indian cities with the maximum price swing. The flights on the Mumbai and New Delhi route topped the chart.