Private airlines have been successful in winning over some of its lost clientele by temporarily reducing airfares on select sectors. Some have, however, raised the bar again.
Sample the case of Jet Airways and Jetlite. To stem the migration of passengers to other airlines and even to the railways, the two airlines had reduced airfares to a year-long low between January 25 and January 31on the Patna-Delhi and the Patna-Kolkata sectors. However, the two airlines have again jacked up fares beginning February 1.
A minimum Jetlite ticket (by S2-6352) to Kolkata, which earlier cost Rs 1683 (including taxes), has gone up to Rs 1928 beginning Sunday. Similarly, a minimum Jet Airways ticket (by 9W-728) to New Delhi, which cost Rs 3348 till on Saturday, has now gone up to Rs 4833 after Jet Airways abolished the ‘H’ class fare it had offered between January 25 and January 31.
In the promotional H-class fare, Jet had reduced fuel surcharge by 50 per cent to Rs 1350, but has now substituted it by W-class, with Rs 2700 as fuel surcharge. Add to it the passenger surcharge fee (PSF) of Rs 233, airport services charge (or congestion charge) of Rs 150 and the basic fare of Rs 1750 and you have to fork out Rs 4833 for a Patna-Delhi ticket.
However, leading the airfare war here amid dipping fuel prices is Kingfisher Red. The airline has held to its minimum fare of Rs 2425 (including taxes) on the Patna-Delhi sector while the cheapest ticket on Patna-Kolkata sector costs Rs 1625.
Air-India, which operates two flights daily from here to Delhi is the next best option for price conscious air travellers. Effective January 27, the airline is offering limited seats for a minimum fare of Rs 3024. Called the Zip fare, it will be effective till February 28 this year for economy class travel on domestic sector.
Air India Station Manager C Balashanmugan said that besides the Zip fares, the airlines had also introduced Super Saver economy class four coupons with three months validity for Rs 15,400 (inclusive of taxes and levies). The same for executive class costs Rs 47,400. “Super Saver tickets can be issued to individuals, corporates and multiple users and its sale is open till March 31, 2009,” he added.
Besides, Air-India had also introduced ‘North-East Super Saver Economy’ for travel within north-east and from Kolkata to North-East. A four-coupon North-East Super Saver Economy ticket cost Rs 9,000 (inclusive of taxes and levies and its sale was restricted to individual passengers between January 29 and March 31, Shanmugan added.