SpiceJet, IndiGo slash ticket prices in pre-sum­mer sale

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

The web­site of SpiceJet Ltd, In­dia's se­cond-largest low-fare air­line, crashed hours af­ter it launched its pre-sum­mer sale on Tues­day, which of­fered fares start­ing at Rs.599 for all its non-stop flights across its do­mes­tic net­work be­tween 1 March and 13 April.

"Sorry! Our on­line book­ing site is cur­rently ex­pe­ri­enc­ing heavy traf­fic. Please try again later," the SpiceJet web­site read. The Spicejet An­droid app was, how­ever, work­ing. The air­lines an­nounced the sale on Mon­day. The three-day sale launched on Tues­day is sup­posed to re­main open till mid­night, 25 Fe­bru­ary. This flash sale is of­fer­ing nearly 50% dis­count on tick­ets to stim­u­late de­mand for the lean sea­son. A typ­i­cal Mum­bai-Kochi one-way ticket was avail­able af­ter pay­ing all charges at Rs.2,300 un­der the pre-sum­mer sale against a nor­mal fare of Rs.3,500-Rs.4,000 on lower buck­ets, ac­cord­ing to travel agents.

Fe­bru­ary to April is con­sid­ered the lean sea­son for do­mes­tic fly­ing be­fore the peak of May to July when schools close for sum­mer va­ca­tions.

In­dia's lo­cal air­lines car­ried 81.09 mil­lion pas­sen­gers in 2015, as against 67.38 mil­lion in the pre­vi­ous year, reg­is­ter­ing a growth of 20.3%, ow­ing to low fares and more flights. Shilpa Bha­tia, se­nior vice-pres­i­dent (com­mer­cial) at SpiceJet, said pre-sum­mer sale is best suited for trav­ellers who pre­fer off-sea­son travel to save costs and avoid tourist rush.

"Tick­ets un­der this of­fer are re­fund­able (only statu­tory taxes will be re­funded) though change­able with a change fee and fare dif­fer­ence. There is lim­ited in­ven­tory un­der the of­fer, and seats will be avail­able on first-come-first-served ba­sis," the air­line said. SpiceJet op­er­ates 293 daily flights to 40 des­ti­na­tions, in­clud­ing 34 do­mes­tic and six in­ter­na­tional ones. Air trav­ellers con­tinue to ben­e­fit from rock-bot­tom ticket prices as fares in In­dia show there has been a no­table de­cline over the past decade.

The cur­rent air fare is 66% lower than it was in 2005, ac­cord­ing to a study re­leased in De­cem­ber by In­ter­na­tional Air Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion, a lobby group that rep­re­sents nearly 260 air­lines, com­prises 83% of global air traf­fic. In­dia's largest air­line IndiGo, run by In­terGlobe Avi­a­tion Ltd, has also joined the band­wagon of dis­count­ing tick­ets. "Book till 25 Fe­bru­ary for travel be­tween 1 March to 13 April 2016 and en­joy un­be­liev­able low fares start­ing Rs.737," IndiGo said on Tues­day. Mean­while, Jet Air­ways (In­dia) Ltd an­nounced spe­cial of­fers on econ­omy and busi­ness class fares for pas­sen­gers trav­el­ling on the air­line's in­ter­na­tional net­work.

The seven-day sale, ef­fec­tive from 23 Fe­bru­ary to 29 Fe­bru­ary is valid for travel from 10 March, on­wards on all Jet Air­ways' di­rect flights, and Jet Air­ways' flights aligned with strate­gic part­ner Eti­had Air­ways PJSC. "The of­fer al­lows fly­ers to avail sub­stan­tial sav­ings of up to 30% when book­ing to travel on board Jet Air­ways' op­er­ated in­ter­na­tional flights from In­dia to des­ti­na­tions across the air­line's global net­work. The of­fer is ex­tended to Jet Air­ways' flights op­er­ated in con­junc­tion with Eti­had Air­ways, over the UAE na­tional car­rier's Abu Dhabi gate­way," Jet Air­ways said.

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