NEW DELHI: The spike in fares of flagship trains, announced on Wednesday, has given the aviation sector a reason to cheer - especially for Air India. The airline expects a quantum jump in the number of waitlisted passengers availing tickets under its spot booking scheme going forward.
The airline has made it clear that air tickets offered under this scheme will remain unchanged, thus making air travel cheaper than a journey by AC 2-tier of Rajdhani Express. Major private airlines, however, remained tightlipped about their plans and schemes to woo rail passengers following the introduction of dynamic pricing model by railways. But they are upbeat about the overall growth scenario, which is already growing at a rate of 23 per cent in the country. A spokesperson of budget carrier AirAsia said the fares in some routes offered by them are already lower than the AC fares of Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains.
“Our fares on some routes are already lower than AC 2-tier fares of the Rajdhani Express. AirAsia passengers on Bangalore-Delhi route save as much as Rs 1321 compared to the AC 2-tier cost,” he said.
AirAsia charges Rs 2899 on the Delhi-Guwahati route while the AC 2-tier fare on Rajdhani comes to Rs 3535. Similarly, on the Delhi-Goa route, the airline offers tickets starting from Rs 3099 while the same in Rajdhani is priced at Rs 3715. Air India officials say that passengers who book tickets under the spot booking scheme have already surged to 450 per day from around 15-200 earlier.
Meanwhile, the Railway Ministry has announced that flexi pricing scheme is only being done on an experimental basis and will be reviewed shortly based on feedbacks and demand.