Air India unleashes a fare war, Jet Airways, Indigo & SpiceJet follow!

This was bound to happen, I say. Air India has not been having its ‘fair’ share of the Indian domestic market for the past few months, where Indigo has taken the lead now (27.6% as of August 2012) and Jet Airways (along with JetLite) are the second largest players (with 25.2% marketshare of Indian domestic pax).

Air India has been lagging behind for a long while and now at 18.2% marketshare. So, finally, the political masters of the airline, read the Indian civil aviation minister, one day told the airline it should quickly get marketshare. When there is no plan, the one plan that works beautifully in a price-sensitive market such as India is undercutting. This is what Air India has done, and others are following suit.

Air India on September 20, announced the ‘Super Jaldi Jaldi’ promotion, where it dropped its 30-days out fares by about 15% (making it cheaper by walk-up fares by about 40%). Have a look at some of the fares now available, including Mumbai-Delhi on a full-service carrier for less than Rs. 5,000!

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Yeah, right, successful! Anyways, Jet Airways followed and dropped its fares as well, introducing something similar which went on sale from September 22! The new apex fares will go on sale effective September 22 and will offer savings on several domestic routes. Travel validity for 21-day apex fares is till October 18, 2012, while the 30-day apex fares have no expiry date.

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Now, how can the other big boys be left far behind? Indigo and Spicejet have both announced discounts as well on their respective networks. Indigo has announced upto 40%off on its base fare if tickets are purchased a month in advance, and Spicejet has just a few hours back matched that move. So, now you get to see a return fare of Rs. 9,600 on BOM-DEL while a short while ago this had gone to about Rs. 11,000 for a return ticket.

So, if you’re planning a trip across the country somewhere, this is good news for you, and make it a point to shop around, but for the airlines, this will be bad news!

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