Days after it received a fresh slice of investment, cash-strapped SpiceJet on Wednesday spread it wings to woo budget fliers. The airline launched a three-day sale for travel across its domestic routes with one-way economy class fares startingat Rs 1499.
According to the airline, five lakh cheap tickets would be unleashed from it stock during the flash sale meant for travel between mid- February and June.
"The sale offers are meant to sell in advance at attractive prices, seats that would otherwise be expected to go empty, thereby improving revenues. With this offer, customers who have not planned to travel due to high last minute fares can enjoy low fares," said Kaneswaran Avili, the chief commercial officer, SpiceJet Ltd.
This is the second such flash sale this month. Sales of air tickets increased by three folds, particularly during the weekend ahead of Republic Day following a six-day sale by Air India. The national carrier had slashed one-way economy class fares by 50%, starting at prices cheaper than long distance train rides.
Jet Airways, India's second biggest airline by the number of people flown, had soon joined the price war.
SpiceJet's ticket sale will be for its curtailed schedule in 2014. In October last year, the airline had curtailed its schedule by more than 100 flights following a cash crunch.
Leisure travelers could pulls off affordable holidays in the summer of 2015 as both the flash sales cover the peak vacation period between April and June, the travel operators said.
"Travel period offered under this sale covers summer vacation and is a good opportunity for people to plan their holidays in advance at very exciting rates. Such stimulating offers are not only good for the airlines as they are able to fill more seats even in lean seasons, but also for passengers and the entire aviation and allied sectors like tourism and hospitality," said Vinay Gupta, founder and CEO of TripFactory.com, a travel portal.
Travel operators added that such flash sales would become a common feature in Indian aviation courtesy the saturation of passengers' loads. On an average almost 25% seats on domestic flights in India were empty in 2014.
"Fliers' loads are likely to go down further with new airlines such as Vistara adding capacity. It is a good period for new fliers as long as the fare wars do not make the airline unviable," said a member of the the Civil Aviation Economic Advisory Council, a government appointed independent panel, requesting anonymity.