Move to boost air travel in off-peak season

Domestic airlines are again wooing passengers with low fares.

What started with SpiceJet offering passengers from seven cities, including Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Aurangabad and Pune, the chance to fly for less provided they booked by April 18, was soon followed by IndiGo matching the offer.

The low fares offered by SpiceJet, which vary across cities, are available for travel between June 10 and August 10.

For example, a SpiceJet passenger from Mumbai can connect to 30 cities, including Kochi, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam and Chennai, for fares starting at ₹2,249. Similarly, the airline is offering fares starting at ₹1,849 from Pune to 10 cities, including Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi and Delhi.

Travel agents claim that IndiGo has matched SpiceJet’s offer although there was no independent confirmation from the airline. GoAir has also jumped into the fray with the airline website offering a 30 per cent discount on the base fare plus fuel for travel between April 16 and September 30. It did not give details of routes on which the discounted fares are available.

This is the seventh discounted sale offer and the second regional sale offer that SpiceJet has launched in this calendar year.

On April 8, SpiceJet had come up with a low-fare scheme targeting specific States, including Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Pointing out that the latest SpiceJet offers will reduce travel costs by about 30 per cent, Sharat Dhall, President, Yatra.com, felt that with the promotion applicable for travel between June and August is another attempt by the airline to incentivise advance booking for the off-peak period.

Neelu Singh, COO, Ezeego1.com, said that the offers reinforce the huge travel potential that tier II and tier III cities have, which currently lack proper air-connectivity.

“We are expecting a surge of around 30 per cent in bookings, especially from locations such as Patna, Lucknow, Jaipur, Kochi and Chandigarh,” she added.

(This article was published on April 16, 2014)
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