Business

Lean season cut in airfares by IndiGo and Jet after Air India slashes its prices

January 14, 2015 06:27 AM
Air India slashes prices

Chandigarh, Jan. 14: There's good news for flyers. Domestic airfares — which have been defying gravity since mid-November when the troubled SpiceJet cut over 100 daily flights — have finally started dropping.

The fare slash is because of a move to fill up planes during the lean travel season — between January and the start of the summer break in May.



The airline has also lowered its all-inclusive one-way fares for 90-day advance bookings. Under this scheme, the fares from Delhi to Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Ahmedabad are down to Rs 3,051, Rs 3,906, Rs 4,273 and Rs 3,005, respectively.??

Air India was as the first off the block on Monday when it cut domestic fares by up to 50% on tickets that are booked till next Monday for travel between January 16 and April 30.

The special fares start at Rs 1,557; the discount is for some sectors. The Mumbai-Delhi travel under this scheme will cost Rs 2,958, down from current level of Rs 6,000-9,000. A Delhi-Bangalore flight is available for Rs.1,800, Delhi-Lucknow Rs.1,558 and Delhi-Indore Rs.1,558.

A day later, Jet Airways and IndiGo also lowered their domestic fares. Jet Airways is offering all-inclusive tickets starting at Rs 1,557 that have to be booked up to next Monday for travel between January 16 and April 15.




IndiGo, India's largest airline by domestic market share, is offering all-inclusive fares starting from Rs 1,647 for the Delhi-Lucknow sector. The airline has also lowered its all-inclusive one-way fares for 90-day advance bookings. Under this scheme, the fares from Delhi to Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Ahmedabad are down to Rs 3,051, Rs 3,906, Rs 4,273 and Rs 3,005, respectively.



A month or two earlier, things had come to such a pass that the aviation ministry initiated a move to cap maximum domestic economy fares at Rs 20,000. Airlines had refused to drop fares even when oil prices were cut by a record 12.5% in a go earlier this month. Price of jet fuel — which accounts for half of an airline's operating cost — is now the lowest since February 2011.

Travel portal Yatra.com president Sharat Dhall said: "With the AI sale kick-starting a huge uplift in bookings, Jet and IndiGo have joined the bandwagon with sales of their own, targeting early bookings for the upcoming summer season and the numerous long weekends over the next few months. This is a bonanza for travellers planning breaks during the long weekends around holidays for Republic Day, Valentine's Day, Holi and Easter. In addition, travelers, particularly from south and west India, are using these low fares to make early bookings for the summer holiday break. With an approximately 35% reduction in airfares, the response has been tremendous with close to a 400% increase in bookings on our site."

An airline official said fares are always slashed in the lean travel months of mid-January to April and July to September to fill up seats. "Fares are determined by market forces of demand and supply. This winter, the market saw very high demand and a sudden cut in capacity due to the SpiceJet crisis that led to the spurt in fares despite the fall in oil prices. Now they will remain low till April and go up in May and June," the official said.

 

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