Sky-high fares slide as airlines launch price war
Mumbai, February 20, 2013: Air fares crashed on Tuesday as airlines rolled out
never- before offers to lure passengers and fill empty seats. Jet Airways kicked off the price war with a six-day sale
of 20 lakh seats over 450 flights across 57 domestic destinations. Go
Air , IndiGo and Spice Jet also followed suit with unannounced cuts.
Under the offer, a Rs 8,000 one-way ticket from Mumbai to Delhi would
cost just Rs 2,850. Similar discounts on other sectors are a welcome
relief for passengers who have seen fares soar for two years. The offers, at the lowest possible base fare of Rs 1, have been
sweetened even more this year. Unlike in the past, passengers can now
book low offers up to December 31. Till last year, such offers were available up to, say, March 31 when the lean season ended, or at the
most till July. Sudheer Raghavan, chief commercial officer, Jet Airways, said the offer
will allow passengers to plan and schedule their travel much in advance,
especially during the holiday season, while benefiting from the special
fares. The Jet offer comes in four slabs based on distance. For instance,
one-way fares from Mumbai to Ahmedabad, Mangalore, Hyderabad, Nagpur or Bhopal would be Rs, 2,250, taxes included. It would be Rs 3,300 to
Bengaluru, Raipur, Coimbatore or Jaipur; Rs 2,850 to Chandigarh, Delhi, Bhubaneswar or Visakhapatnam; and Rs 3,800 to Kolkata.
Similarly, the fare from Delhi to Jammu, Srinagar and Varanasi would be
Rs 2,250; Rs 2,850 to Ahmedabad, Patna or Raipur; Rs 3,300 to Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ranchi or Pune; and Rs 3,800 to Chennai, Bengaluru
or Guwahati. Not all bargain hunters may be lucky though as the inventory is limited,
and it is not known how many cheap seats are being released per flight. Source: The Times of India
Domestic air travel sees steepest fall in world, down 2.1%
New Delhi, February 3, 2013: India witnessed the sharpest fall in domestic air travel
globally last year. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Thursday released the data for 2012
over previous year, showing that India's domestic air travel was the 'weakest' , which saw a 2.1% fall compared to the world average of 4%
growth. China and Brazil had the strongest domestic growth at 9.5% and 8.6%, respectively .
"Indian domestic travel shrank by 2.1% on 2011 levels. Weak economic
growth was exacerbated by increasing operational costs, insufficient
infrastructure, high taxes and onerous regulation. Capacity growth fell to 0.3% (from 16.2% in 2011) and the average load
factor for the year was 72.9%," IATA said. While China and Brazil recorded highest growth rates, US saw a rise in domestic air travel by
0.8%. Japan's domestic market saw demand grow by 3.6% in 2012.
Indian carriers warn that unless the government does not do something
fast to correct the very high cost structure, the growth story of aviation here may be all but over. Officials say that the price of
aviation turbine fuel (ATF) or jet fuel and airport charges must be lowered. ATF prices here for
domestic flights are among the highest globally.
"After the Kingfisher experience , airlines know that charging fares that do not cover costs
will lead to a certain closure except for state-funded Air India. Since
ATF and airport charges are among the highest here globally, recovery of
cost means high fares. Source: The Economic Times