New Delhi: Attempting to fill up seats in the lean travel season that will last up to mid-April, airlines have slashed fares by up to 50 per cent.
SpiceJet is offering 500,000 seats at a discount, in a three-day sale, with tickets starting at Rs 1,499. The discount tickets are for travel between February 15 and June 30. The airline is offering about 12.5 per cent of its inventory at lower prices, even as it awaits fund infusion from new investors, led by former director Ajay Singh.
"We are excited to offer our first signature promotion for 2015 to incentivise customers. Such Super Sale offers are meant to sell in advance at attractive prices seats that would otherwise be expected to go empty, thereby improving revenues," SpiceJet Chief Commercial Officer Kaneswaran Avili said.
A quick glance at the seat factor, according to a recent DGCA data, suggests that domestic carriers had almost 10 percent higher occupancy in their planes in the December quarter of 2014 as compared to the March quarter of that year.
"Such offers have made a trip by air even more affordable than train or bus travel for those willing to book early to grab these offers," he added.
SpiceJet's discount sale offer follows -- AirAsia India, Jet Airways, Air India and IndiGo -- rolling out similar schemes amid low travel demand season.
Jet Airways is offering all-inclusive return tickets starting from Rs 4,459. Under the scheme which is valid till March 31, Jet is offering a Goa-Mumbai-Goa ticket for Rs 4,459. The return fares for Pune-Hyderabad; Kochi-Chennai; Nagpur-Mumbai and Delhi-Leh are Rs 5,019; Rs 5,901; Rs 6,143 and Rs 6,826, respectively.
IndiGo has also lowered its 90-day advance fares. All-inclusive fare from Delhi to Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and Goa is Rs 3,002; Rs 3,861; Rs 4,693 and Rs 4,694, respectively. Other airlines may follow suit.
March and September quarters of the fiscal are traditionally lean seasons for the airlines in the country, and they woo customers with low fares to fill the empty seats.
According to travel portal Yatra.Com, the domestic carriers seem to be now focussing on getting advance bookings while not ruling out a few more such offerings before the peak demand season sets in.
"Indian carriers are taking a cue from the international market. Our market is a last minute booking one, and the airlines have been quite successful in generating travellers' interest as the travel period goes up to holiday season," Yatra.Com President Sharat Dhall said.
"We at Yatra have already seen our economy bookings increase by over 200 per cent for both domestic and outbound routes, and there is a doubling of business class bookings post the prices being reduced on key routes," he said.
(With Agency inputs)