A new fare war in the skies is about to unfold following the launch of Jet Konnect—a new low-cost arm of Jet Airways— while Kingfisher Airlines is now planning to operate more flights on the routes where its low-cost arm Kingfisher Red flies.
Jet Konnect flights would cost 10 to 15 per cent less than regular Jet Airways flights. Kingfisher Red flights offer a similar advantage over its parent. Jet Konnect, according to the airline’s officials, would help improve the passenger load factor of the airline by nearly 30 per cent.
Industry officials believe the large airlines are trying to take a slice off low-cost brands without losing the premium image of their flagship flights.
Low cost carriers Spice Jet and Indigo, however, feel that the move by the leading carriers would not dent their market share. Last month, Kingfisher and Kingfisher Red had a combined market share of 27.1 per cent, followed by Jet Airways and Jet Lite — the former Air Sahara — which had a combined market share of 25.4 per cent.
While state-run Air India had a market share of 17 per cent, low cost carriers Spice Jet and Indigo accounted for 12 per cent and 13.4 per cent market respectively. “We have a dedicated customer base, and even corporate houses now repose a lot of faith in the low cost carriers at times when there is cost cutting all over,” a SpiceJet official said on conditions of anonymity.
The new low cost carrier Jet Konnect would connect to 38 destinations where Jet Airways Already flies. Kingfisher and its affiliate plan to do the same.