COIMBATORE: Travelling by flight from Coimbatore to Chennai has not just become affordable but cheaper than train fare. Believe it or not, with airlines going in for competitive pricing, a future flight ticket from the textile city to the State capital would now work out cheaper than booking a first class air-conditioned coach tatkal ticket on the Nilgiris Express. A comparison of the cheap air fares and train fare shows that a tatkal First AC train ticket, which costs `1,915 is actually 200 per cent more than that of a competitively priced air ticket’s base fare.
For instance Spice Jet has come up with an offer under which a passenger would be able to fly from here to Chennai at an all inclusive fare starting from `811 exclusive of statutory taxes. The offer was introduced by Spice Jet across its domestic network as part of its discount bonanza called ‘Early Bird’ last week. Customers can book tickets under the scheme for travel from January 16, 2015. Following this, Jet Airways has also decided to come up with a promotional offer rolling out economy class tickets for just `806. To stay in the competition all the other leading airlines including IndiGo and Air Asia also have introduced cheap air ticket schemes. IndiGo’s offer will be available on bookings that are made 90 days or more ahead of the travel date.
Air Asia issued air tickets at discounted rates for travel starting from Saturday to December 5. This offer was available for almost all the domestic air routes in the country from the city but was a limited offer and was closed on Saturday. R Selva Kumar, who booked a ticket under this offer, said, “I always wished to travel by flight and this offer has helped me to book tickets from here to Chennai.”
Economists have opined that airlines in India were selling tickets at prices well below their cost to increase their market share.