Airlines line up discounts on fares as lull season begins
The flyers are making the most of low airfares with bookings rising by 35%. This is despite a surge in the price of aviation turbine fuel (ATF) as airlines are dealing with higher capacity and the lean traffic period.
In certain cases, the fares are marginally lower than the prices that prevailed during the same period last year.
According to a research report released by ICICI Securities on Tuesday, ATF prices have seen a year-on-year (Y-o-Y) growth of 13%.
As a result of the fall in airfares, ticket bookings have surged by about 25-35%, reveal the industry sources. Most of these bookings have been made around the 16 long weekends falling in the calendar year.
Aloke Bajpai, CEO and co-founder of ticket marketplace ixigo, said, “Comparing fares to the same time last year, the ongoing offers have led to a clear dip in prices.”
With the peak season for travel well over, airlines are coming up with discounted fares in order to stimulate the demand, said John Nair, head – business travel, Cox & Kings.
Leading low-cost carrier in terms of market share IndiGo announced fares starting Rs 999 for domestic routes and Rs 1,399 for international routes as a part of its three-day special offer which is open for bookings till January 10.
Rival airline GoAir has announced fares starting Rs 1,005 and the sale is open till January 11 . Similarly, AirAsia India has priced its tickets from Rs 1,599 in its own promotional offer which is available for booking till January 14.
Tata Group-backed full-service carrier Vistara, which is celebrating its third anniversary, is offering sale of its ticket starting from Rs 1,099 and the offer was available only till January 9.
Likewise, Gulf-based Qatar Airways as part of its global sales offer is giving 50% discount on next booking made through the airline apart from ‘companion offer’ in business and first class. There are also special discounts for families with kids.
According to the travel agents and airline industry experts, Rajasthan, Goa and Kerala remain the highest trending domestic destinations on standalone basis while Dubai, Singapore and Bangkok are high in demand on the international front.
Further, sector wise, Mumbai-Delhi, Mumbai-Bangalore, Delhi-Kolkata and Mumbai-Goa are in demand.
The low-fare offers are to be understood in the context of recent reports about a Parliamentary Committee recommending the Ministry of Civil Aviation to consider fixing an upper limit of the air tickets for every sector.
The committee also noted that even after a 50% reduction in the ATF prices, the airlines had not passed on the benefit to the consumers. The ministry, on the other hand, is of view that government cannot interfere in the ticket pricing in a free economy and doing so will make flying expensive for a majority of the fliers.
According to data available with the civil aviation ministry, India has emerged as one of the fastest growing aviation markets during the last three years and is currently considered as the third largest domestic civil aviation market in the world.
According to International Air Transport Association (IATA), India will displace the UK for the third place in 2026. The Indian airlines are on a capacity expansion spree and are adding planes to their fleet almost every month.
- GoAir fares are starting from Rs 1,005 and the sale is open till Jan 11. AirAsia ticket prices from Rs 1,599
- IndiGo announced fares from Rs 999 for domestic routes and Rs 1,399 for international routes