Customers who take up the offer can travel from mid-May onwards

Air India, on Wednesday, took on other industry players by announcing a 60-day advance purchase fare scheme, offering prices close to that of air-conditioned train fares. The national carrier is looking to tap the huge domestic travel potential.The advance purchase fare (apex) tickets of Air India for domestic travellers went on sale from Wednesday, for travel commencing 60 days and beyond.

Customers availing themselves of the offer can undertake travel from the middle of May, according to an official statement issued by the national carrier.

This latest offer, which almost matches the fares offered by AC trains, comes close on the heels of Air India announcing 30-day and 7-day special fares recently. The apex scheme targets vacation travellers, during the peak holiday season, luring them from train to air travel.

It is being termed as an attempt to strengthen Air India’s foothold in the leisure travel market, the statement said.

An all-inclusive 60-day advance purchase fare on the Delhi-Mumbai route would cost Rs.3,981, while on the Delhi-Lucknow route it would cost as low as Rs.2,562.

Air fares

Similarly, an all inclusive Mumbai-Kolkata fare would be Rs.4,556, Mumbai-Bangalore Rs.2,930, and Delhi-Chennai Rs.4,852, Delhi-Kolkata and Delhi-Hyderabad would cost Rs.4,012. The fare for Kolkata-Hyderabad and Kolkata-Chennai would be Rs.3,798, according to the statement. The scheme is likely to further intensify the price war among the domestic airlines. SpiceJet in January and Jet Airways last month came up with low-priced tickets.

SpiceJet spark

The Chennai-based SpiceJet was the first to slash prices by introducing fares as low as Rs. 2,013 in January.Weeks after that, Jet Airways put up two million seats on its domestic network up for sale, as low as Rs.2,350, followed by IndiGo, GoAir and Air India making similar offers.

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