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Price war in Indian skies as airlines woo flyers

Price war in Indian skies as airlines woo flyers

India’s largest airline IndiGo and its arch rival SpiceJet have launched ticket sales starting at less than ₹900 for flights between April and September. Although there are usually only a limited number of seats available at the rock-bottom airfares, the overall discounts on fares serve to attract flyers at a time when demand is low and seats go empty. IndiGo’s five-day sale, which started on January 13 and will go till January 17, will offer customers all-inclusive fares on domestic flights starting at ₹877 for travel from April 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021.

Change or cancellation fee of ₹500 will be applicable on bookings made during the sale, the airline said. Similarly, SpiceJet’s five-day sale will be open till midnight of January 17. “Some of popular routes available for starting sale fare of ₹899 (all-inclusive) include Jammu-Srinagar, Srinagar-Jammu, Bengaluru-Chennai, Chennai-Bengaluru, Hyderabad-Belagavi, Belagavi-Hyderabad, Ahmedabad-Jaisalmer and Jaisalmer-Ahmedabad, among others,” said the airline, which has also launched a discount on booking meals. The sale in air tickets was first on kicked off by full-service carrier Vistara, which had launched a sale on Jan 8 as part of its sixth anniversary celebrations with fares starting at ₹1,299.

The airlines have taken a hard hit as air traffic has plummeted due to the coronavirus pandemic and they are now desperately trying to woo flyers to bring in more revenue. The sale of advance tickets even at cheaper prices helps the cash-strapped airlines to bring in more cash to run their day-to-day operations. Otherwise they would have to take more working capital loans at high interest rates to meet their cash needs.  .