Two days after no-frills carrier Indigo Airlines announced a sale offering one-way economy fares starting at Rs789 to woo fliers during the off-season monsoon period, SpiceJet, another budget airline gave a cheaper deal with starting fares of Rs444.
The five-day sale, which began on Wednesday, would primarily be available on short domestic routes such as Mumbai-Goa and Delhi-Dehradun, for travel between July and September, said a SpiceJet media statement. The Indigo offer was available on busy metro routes as well as steep sectors connecting tier 2 cities.
Together, the two airlines cater to almost one in two domestic air travellers in the country, according to the number of people flown by them in May, showed data from the civil aviation ministry.
Industry experts said the other airlines may also jump into the fray, offering similar cheap tickets. “Offering cheap tickets during monsoon has been a regular industry feature over the past two years. Most often such flash sales trigger a price war, which is good for fliers,” said a Colaba-based travel operator, on condition of anonymity.
The discounts have worked for airlines, too, as they see a significant rise in empty seats during monsoons. “On an average, about 25%-30% seats go empty. As a result they [airlines] give them away for fares cheaper than long distance high-end train fares,” said another travel operator.