The fare war between airlines has well and truly recommenced with Jet Airways and Indigo announcing special fares as low as Rs 2,250 for one-way flights to certain destinations. This brings both carriers in close competition with Spicejet which announced a low-fare scheme for its domestic flights more than three months ago.
Jet and Indigo threw open bookings for their low-fare flights Tuesday. The window will be open for six days for flights up to Dec. 31 this year. Earlier this January, SpiceJet had put 1 million seats on sale for Rs 2,103 apiece. The offer generated a massive response from passengers.
With the fare war on, travel sites such as makemytrip.com began to post advertisements to rush passengers into buying with slogans like ‘These fares could rise by Rs 6153 by tomorrow! Book today to save!’
The low-fare window has brought down fares by more than 50 per cent of many domestic flights. For example, an economy class one-way flight from Hyderabad to New Delhi which costs Rs. 8235 is now available for Rs 3340 on makemytrip.com. Similarly, flights from Hyderabad to Chennai, which usually cost around Rs 3500 or more are available for Rs. 2300. Some of the flights from Hyderabad to Mumbai even showed prices as low as Rs. 1255 for bookings on certain dates on makemytrip.com. The new fares, however, do not apply to all flights. The low fares are available only for selected dates and time of day.
Many travel sites like cleartrip.com and makemytrip.com have begun displaying the number of seats left on low-cost flights indicating that the mad rush for bookings has already begun.
Even bookings for flights as far away as November are under heavy demand. Some dates displayed that just two seats or even one still open for booking.
After the announcement of the new prices, the low-fare flights to the most-travelled destinations like New Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Goa and Ahmedabad were all booked already, with a limited number of seats available.
Under the low-fare offer, Jet has put 20 lakh seats on over 450 daily flights across 57 destinations on sale for six days effective Tuesday. Passengers purchasing these tickets can travel anytime up to December-end this year.
The airline has introduced four different slabs for these one-way fares, based on the travel distance. The fares are inclusive of all taxes.