Fresh fare war in the sky

Lalatendu Mishra
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All domestic airlines, except Air India, on Friday, slashed the airfares by 30 per cent under the advance purchase scheme to lure passengers who could not avail themselves of the 50 per cent discount announced by the carriers last week.

The latest limited-seat offer, which will run till Sunday night, is to clear unsold inventory during the ongoing lean season.

This time again, the discounted offer was started by SpiceJet followed by IndiGo, Go Air and Jet Airways.

Last week, SpiceJet stunned all airlines by offering a 50 per cent discount on apex fares, forcing others to follow.

According to travel industry officials, IndiGo and Air India had sold the maximum number of seats in the previous offer. While the offer had received a lukewarm response from offline travel agencies, travel portals had reported a remarkable growth in bookings.

SpiceJet, on Friday, announced a ‘second chance’ sale for passengers who would like to book at least 30 days in advance for travel till April 15 for travel on Mondays till Thursdays within the applicable period. This round of sale will last till Sunday midnight. Under this offer, all passengers can get a 30 per cent discount on the already discounted 30-day advance purchase base fare and fuel surcharge for SpiceJet domestic flights, the airline said.

“The offer is not applicable for any reservations and bookings made at the airline’s call centre and airport ticketing counters. Seats made available for this offer are limited, and the availability depends on the specific date and flight,” the airline added.

“After the grand success of the Spring Super Sale offer and in response to a deluge of requests to repeat the offer from those who missed it the first time, we are pleased to announce the Second Chance Super Sale offer for the benefit of our customers,” said Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Operating Officer, SpiceJet.

Responding to SpiceJet offer, rival IndiGo said “The 30 per cent offer is valid till Sunday for travel in weekdays between March 3 and April 15.”

According to GoAir, it is offering fares as low as Rs.2,107.

Jet Airways has offered 30 per cent discount on one way flights for limited number of seats. “Essentially, airlines are maximising their advance bookings through such offers during the summer lean season. They are looking for at least 80 per cent seat occupancy in their flights. They are hoping to soar up the load factor,” said President Sarat Dhall.

According to estimates, all airlines offer about 2.25 lakh seats daily out of which they have been selling 1.70 lakh seats. The objective of these offers is to bridge the demand-supply gap.

“Since morning, we have seen a surge of 150 per cent in bookings. These offers lead to significant demand stimulation and airlines get to reduce wastage of seats ,” said Vikram Malhi, General Manager, South & Southeast Asia, Expedia.



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