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More carriers join fare war

New Delhi, April 3: IndiGo and Air India today joined the war over airfares, triggered by SpiceJet two days ago when it launched one-rupee fares and consequently came under the scanner of the aviation regulator.

Air India launched a “Short-term Monsoon Bonanza” scheme from April 3-5. Tickets on 40 select domestic sectors can be bought at a flat rate of Rs 1,499 plus taxes for travel till September 30.

No-frills carrier IndiGo announced discounted fares on several sectors for travel between July and September. The discounted fares start at Rs 1,389, including fuel surcharge, for a one-way ticket.

According to online travel sites, the lowest starting fare on IndiGo’s network is between Delhi and Lucknow. Fares range from Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,500.

“As anticipated, IndiGo has dropped its prices post SpiceJet’s sale announcement for the period of July to September. The advance discount fares continue to stimulate the market and offer lucrative opportunities for those who are willing to book early. We have noticed our sales jump five times since Spice announced its sale and expect the momentum to continue with the drop in fares by IndiGo,” said Sharat Dhall, president of Yatra.com.

However, both the airlines remained silent on the number of seats they were offering on discount. IndiGo indicated that only a limited number of seats were available for the discounts, while Air India officials refused to divulge the number.

GoAir has also started a 48-hour sale till tomorrow, offering a 30-40 per cent discount, for 90-day advance booking valid for travel between July and September.

SpiceJet’s one-rupee offer had attracted a mad rush of passengers, but within hours the DGCA came down heavily on the airline, terming the offer as “predatory” and a “malpractice” and asking it to stop it immediately.

The regulator pointed out that the airline was offering just one or two tickets per flight at the discounted price, which amounted to deceiving the passengers. SpiceJet had refrained from divulging the number of seats available for discount.

 
 
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