Passengers on the waiting list who don’t get confirmed train tickets can now upgrade to air travel by paying a little extra.
Ajay Singh-promoted budget carrier SpiceJet has tied up with the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation(IRCTC), wherein the airline will offer extremely “competitive fares” to passengers whose train tickets remain unconfirmed.
“Passengers on the waiting list with no confirmation can upgrade to an airline seat if they are ready to pay a little extra,” Singh told HT.
The upgrade charges, Singh said, would depend on the route and travel season. “The ticket prices will depend on the season and the routes on which we fly to. So, if it’s a weak travel season, we will charge less for the upgrade,” he added.
Singh said the larger objective behind the SpiceJet-IRCTC agreement was that passenger should enjoy the convenience and means to travel from one place to the other. “We have already started this and in times to come, this arrangement would grow further,” he added.
“This is an excellent move. Trains have a long waiting list and at any given point of time there are hundreds of passengers who have unconfirmed tickets. If they have an option to upgrade their travel by air, it’s a win-win situation for both the airline and the travelling public,” said Subhash Goyal, president, Indian Association of Tour Operators.
“An airline seat is a perishable commodity. An empty seat is lost forever once the aircraft takes off. So, this makes business sense,” a SpiceJet official said.
Singh, the original co-founder, has so far invested about Rs 800 crore in the no-frills airline since he took back the reins last December after a major crisis hit the company. After seven quarters of losses, SpiceJet posted a net profit of Rs 22.51 crore during January-March, helped by renegotiated contracts and settlements and provisioning for re-delivery expenses, among others.