Sea­son for air­line flash sales

With the im­mense pop­u­lar­ity and buzz gar­nered by the flash sales, air­lines con­tinue the trend to bet­ter their bot­tom line.

TravTalk - India - - News - RAMYA JS D’ROZARIO Manu Monga, Vice Pres­i­dent and Head, Mar­ket­ing, Musafir.com, echoed a sim­i­lar re­sponse. “We have seen a surge of 20 per cent in book­ings within hours of the sale be­ing an­nounced.”

On Fe­bru­ary 24, SpiceJet an­nounced a ‘ Su­per Sum­mer Sale’ for cus­tomers who book within the next three days till Fe­bru­ary 26, for travel be­tween April 1 and June 30, 2014. Post the suc­cess of the of­fers launched by the air­line ear­lier this year, the third flash sale, of­fer­ing 75 per cent off base fare plus fuel sur­charge rel­a­tive to last­minute fares, was part of the air­line’s strat­egy to make seats that would other­wise fly empty avail­able to pas­sen­gers at highly- dis­counted ad­vance pur­chase rates.

“We re­ceived overwhelming pos­i­tive feed­back from cus­tomers who booked the ear­lier ‘ Su­per Sales’. By tak­ing the lead in mak­ing air travel more af­ford­able, trav­ellers can now book more spon­ta­neously and more of­ten by air, and we also at­tracted many first- time air trav­ellers who would other­wise en­dure long train jour­neys or not travel at all,” said San­jiv Kapoor, COO, SpiceJet. Ac­cord­ing to Kapoor, “These are not fare wars as com­monly re­ported, for here there are no losers. This is just ba­sic cus­tomer seg­men­ta­tion and in­ven­tory and rev­enue man­age­ment.”

In a bid to com­pete with SpiceJet, other car­ri­ers such as In­diGo, GoAir, Jet Air­ways and even Air In­dia again jumped onto the flash sale band­wagon.

Ra­jan Se­h­gal, Chair­man, TAAI North­ern Chap­ter, be­lieves the rea­son be­hind such short in­ter­vals in the flash sales is be­cause air­lines need in­stant cash flow. “By an­nounc­ing such of­fers, air­lines want to boost their tar­gets be­fore the end of this fi­nan­cial year, since most of them are fac­ing huge losses. A part of this is also a sales gim­mick, as on the pop­u­lar routes, al­most 80 per cent will be sold out. So when you check the site to book your tick­ets, you end up buy­ing tick­ets to less pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions like Ahmed­abad or Pune, just be­cause the rates are less.”

With dras­tic drop in prices of­fered, air­lines are ex­pected to wit­ness a surge of 15 – 20 per cent in pas­sen­ger traf­fic, Se­h­gal added.

"Air­line oper­a­tors are look­ing to fill their seats that are cur­rently run­ning be­low op­ti­mum ca­pac­ity. But ad­di­tion­ally, with Air Asia soon en­ter­ing the scene, cur­rent oper­a­tors are pre­par­ing for the tight com­pe­ti­tion in prices that will bring. By cou­pling with dis­tri­bu­tion chan­nels, air­lines can reach out to in­tended au­di­ences who are look­ing to avail these dis­counts," said Jack­son Fer­nan­dez, MD, Wego.com. By al­low­ing trav­ellers to book within the travel pe­riod from April to June, the car­ri­ers en­sure that their peak sum­mer sea­son will be booked.

On­line travel agents reaped the max­i­mum re­wards from the flash sale. Sharat Dhall, Pres­i­dent, Ya­tra.com, said, “We have wit­nessed an overwhelming re­sponse on the first day of the sale hav­ing recorded an over­all growth of 253 per cent within 24 hours. The phenom­e­nal growth in cer­tain sec­tors has sur­passed all ex­pec­ta­tions, and we are cer­tain that this will bring much needed respite to trav­ellers from the pre­vail­ing high fares, as they plan their sum­mer breaks.” He added that the Delhi-Mum­bai route wit­nessed a 320 per cent growth in book­ings, while the Delhi-Ben­galuru wit­nessed the high­est jump of 476 per cent.

Ra­jan Se­h­gal

Chair­man TAAI - North­ern Chap­ter

San­jiv Kapoor

COO SpiceJet

Manu Monga

Vice Pres­i­dent and Head - Mar­ket­ing, Musafir.com

Sharat Dhall

Pres­i­dent Ya­tra.com

Jack­son Fer­nan­dez

MD Wego.com

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