Bringing cheer to passengers, most domestic carriers cut fares by more than half in an attempt to fill seats during the lean season.
Gurgaon-based low-cost carrier (LCC) SpiceJet was the first to announce a 50% discount on tickets booked at least a month in advance. The discounted fares, the airline said, are available for bookings made between January 21 and 23 for travel up to April 15.
The two other LCCs, IndiGo and GoAir, soon followed suit, matching these fares. The airlines, however, did not specify how many seats they had put for sale. An IndiGo spokesperson said the discounted fares would be available till January 23.
By Tuesday evening, Air India had jumped into the bandwagon, blurring the difference between LCCs and full service carriers, which offer meals to passengers at no extra cost. Sources said Jet Airways may also announce discounted fares soon
Flyers will have to buy the AI tickets between January 22 and January 24.
“The January-March quarter is traditionally one of the leanest periods for travel. With this move, airlines have ensured they don’t fly with half empty planes,” said Rajji Rai, chairman, Swift Travel International Ltd.
A Delhi-Goa ticket, under the promotional offer, is available for Rs. 3,355 while the spot fare for the same route is over Rs. 11,000. A Delhi-Mumbai ticket is being offered for Rs. 2,830 when the spot fare is over Rs. 10,000.
All three LCCs have announced sales on 30-60 day advance purchase window, said Rajesh Magow, co-founder and CEO-India of travel portal MakeMyTrip.