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As rains ground fliers, airlines rain schemes

india Updated: Jun 30, 2009 23:39 IST
Lalatendu Mishra

With passenger load declining in the ongoing lean season, airlines have come up with special monsoon offers to lure leisure passengers. This limited period all-inclusive (except airport tax) offers are nearly 50 per cent lower than normal fares, said airline executives.

Tickets need to be booked before July 3, and travel before September 15. Air India, for instance, offers Mumbai-Delhi, Mumbai-Chennai, Mumbai- Bangalore flights at Rs 2,479, inclusive of all taxes except for airport UDF.

The fare from Mumbai to Kolkota is

Rs 2,729, while for all short sectors it is just Rs 1,979.

Jet Airways group — inlcuding full service Jet Airways and low cost services JetLite and Jet Konnect — has also aggressively lowered fares in its monsoon offer.

“We come out with such offers to exhaust unsold inventory. Past experience had shown good results and seat load goes up by 10 to 15 per cent. Such offers give us top line growth,” said Rajshiv Kumar, head, revenue management, Jet Airways.

Jet Airways is charging a mere Rs 250 over its low-cost arms to lure passengers. While the highest fare in Jet Airways for distances above 1,400 kms is Rs 2,750, the cheapest seat offered by Jet Konnect for distances below 750 kms is Rs 1,750.

SpiceJet is offering fares starting from Rs 1,500 for its 18 destinations. Passenger Service Fee and relevant airport charges are charged extra.

“These unbeatable low fares will encourage more people to fly,” said Samyukth Sridharan, CCO, SpiceJet.

GoAir has announced a special promotional offer for all flights operating from and to Ahmedabad, with one-way fares starting at Rs 1,500. Besides this, the airline is offering complimentary snacks to fliers at the departure hall in Ahmedabad before boarding, the airline said.

Paramount Airways has also lowered fares for the season. For select destinations, a Paramount passenger can avail all-inclusive fares as low as Rs 2,229. Airlines those increased fuel surcharge by Rs 400 early this month are worried about declining traffic. According to Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group, a travel consultancy that tracks airline bookings air ticket sales have started declining towards June.

“There was 5 per cent increase in bookings in June 2009. However, the last week of June has again witnessed a drop in travel bookings,” Bhatia told HT.