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Fresh round of fare war in the air

New Delhi, Feb. 24: Low-cost carrier SpiceJet today triggered a fresh price war by slashing fares on domestic flights, which was soon followed by GoAir and IndiGo.

This is the third time in the last one month that the Chennai-based airline has reduced fares, forcing rivals to follow.

In January, SpiceJet slashed fares by 50 per cent and followed it with a 30 per cent discount.

SpiceJet is now offering 35 per cent to 75 per cent discount on base fares for all domestic tickets for travel between April 1 and June 30, applicable for bookings made till February 26.

According to the SpiceJet website, a typical Calcutta-Delhi fare will be as low as Rs 3,387 after the discount compared with the last-minute booking price of Rs 10,299. The Calcutta-Bombay fare will be Rs 3,472 against Rs 10,882.

Last minute booking are those made within 7 days of travel. However, by today evening, Yatra.com said the lowest bucket fares had all been sold out and the cheapest Calcutta-Delhi fare available now was Rs 4,802.

An IndiGo spokesperson said the airline was also offering discounts on bookings made till February 26 for travel between April 1 and June 30. However, it has not mentioned the percentage of discounts on offer.

GoAir announced up to 70 per cent reduction in fares for booking in the next three days, starting Monday.

“Promotional fares usually have very few seats in each low-cost bucket... and are meant to whip up a sales binge during the lean season,” Robin Pathak, former director of erstwhile Indian Airlines, said.

“These advance purchase offers are a win-win for customers, airlines, the travel industry and the economy overall, as it leads to significant demand stimulation. Customers get to enjoy deeply discounted fares, airlines get to reduce wastage of seats that would otherwise fly empty, and others in the travel eco-system get more business,” Sanjiv Kapoor, chief operating officer, SpiceJet Ltd, said.

 
 
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