Watchdog Tears Up Rs 1 SpiceJet Ticket - The New Indian Express

Watchdog Tears Up Rs 1 SpiceJet Ticket

Published: 02nd April 2014 07:56 AM

Last Updated: 02nd April 2014 07:56 AM

In a move that has alarmed thousands of people who bought cheap air tickets through SpiceJet’s ‘tickets starting `1’ offer, the airline has received a stern directive from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), calling the offer ‘predatory’. The alarm was caused by the fact that the three-day offer from the low-cost carrier was shockingly similar to a game-changing offer from the now-defunct Air Deccan.

SpiceJet announced that tickets would be available from `1 to `1,499 on select flights and sectors for travel between July 2014 and March 2015, as long as it is booked before April 3. Thousands of people latched on to the offer (whose price included base fare and fuel charge) and bought tickets that were at least 50 per cent cheaper.

On Tuesday night, a letter sent to SpiceJet’s COO Sanjiv Kapoor from the DGCA apparently charged the airline’s dirt-cheap prices of violating the provisions contained in the sub-rules related to pricing and directed the airline to stop offering it with immediate effect.

Responding to the directive, SpiceJet retaliated through a statement that did not clarify whether the offer stood rescinded. “We do not believe that our pricing was predatory, since it is with the intent to stimulate demand. With a market share of 20 per cent we are not in a position to be predatory,” it said and indicated that this directive was unfair. “Airlines such as AirAsia and Tiger Airways have had numerous fare sales for their flights originating in India where the base fare was zero.”

Following two earlier sales that had boosted revenue for them in November and February, this is the lowest price offered yet. SpiceJet also clarified that despite offering only limited seats on days that had low load factors, it had sold thousands of seats to passengers who booked early.

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