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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Fliers grab Spicejet’s discount, more than four lakh tickets sold

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, January 13, 2013
First Published: 01:03 IST(13/1/2013) | Last Updated: 01:05 IST(13/1/2013)

The mad rush for discounted air tickets continued for the second day as Spicejet Airlines that launched the three-day offer on Friday sold more than 4 lakh tickets until 5pm on Saturday.

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However, travel operators said that fares of other domestic carriers were not affected.

The no-frill carrier on Friday released 10 lakh, one-way, economy-class tickets inclusive of taxes across its domestic network for Rs. 2,013, which is at least 50% lesser than the average domestic air fare on major routes.

The airline’s website was also slow further proving the demand for tickets, said fliers. “It took me two hours to get a ticket to Goa,” said Borivli-resident Veena Patel.

The scheme that ends on Sunday offered travel bookings between February 1 and April 30. “The scheme offers fares cheaper than train tickets,” said Neil Mills, chief executive officer, Spicejet Airlines.

The scheme was also trending on social media websites as frequent fliers tweeted about the possibility of a price war.

Travel agents however ruled out a price war but confirmed that many fliers took advantage of the offer.

“The offer was timely as there are many long weekends such as the Easter weekend, up to April. But this did not impact fares of other airlines,” said Anup Kanuga, owner Bathija Travels.

Air travel experts concurred that a permanent drop in airfares was unlikely because most domestic carriers were trying to narrow losses.

A report by aviation think tank, Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA), released last December had stated that 30% increase in airfares in 2012 were owing to airlines trying to improve their balance sheet.


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