Monday, February 20, 2006

It’s raining discounts from the air

Mumbai:Cut-price schemes continue to flow into the Indian aviation market unabated, and flyers have never had it so good before.
Just a week after budget carrier Air Deccan opened bookings of one lakh tickets at Rs 999 (inclusive of taxes) for travel between February 20 and April 10, full-service carrier Jet Airways also discounted one lakh tickets by 30-50% on flights across 74 sectors for the same period.
A week later, Jet extended its ‘mega sale’ to another 1.5 lakh tickets, and this time, Air Deccan followed by extending its ‘mega sale’ to 50,000 more tickets. Stated reason: tremendous response from customers. Translated, it means that in an intensely competitive market, low fares are major stimulators of the market.
Menezes has seen bookings on Goa flights fall drastically after the festive season, but this time, with airlines doling out lollies, he has seen bookings on many routes pick up quickly.Travel agents say Go Air’s 10,000 free tickets have attracted flyers to the airline despite its reputation of being slightly unreliable due to small fleet size.Kingfisher Air is indirectly discounting its fares through auctions. Flyers can bring down their fares by as much as 40% by bidding for auction fares online.
19/02 Praveena Sharma /Daily News & Analysis