Discounted airfares bring new flyers in lean season

Discounted airfares bring  new flyers in lean season

Discounted fares have helped airlines bring in new flyers this lean travel season and get assured seat fills. There is a strong demand on the key leisure destinations like Goa and Kerala, say airline officials, and bookings have more than doubled in recent days.

"Such offers add to the abysmally small flyer base in the country. The lower the fares, wider is the flyer-base. When a person flies for the first time and observes the huge time-saving thereof, it often becomes difficult for him/her to take a long journey by train," Amber Dubey, partner and head, aerospace and defence, KPMG, said.

"Families use these discounted tickets to shift from trains to flights and get more bang out of their three-four day vacation. Airlines get incremental traffic, better seat factors and advance cash. A typical win-win for all," Dubey added.

Since the start of the year, the Indian aviation sector has seen three promotional schemes offering 30-50 per cent discount on fares.

"The recent discounts are to fill the 10 per cent seats by giving an alternative to the AC1/2 train passenger," Rajiv Chib, associate director, aerospace and defence at PricewaterhouseCoopers, told IANS.

"No airlines can afford discounts unless they have a strategy in mind. Discount is based on the premise that all airlines, even in peak season, have approximately 10 percent of vacant seats. At times like now with the exam season, it is much more."
The new promotional scheme comes after the low cost carrier (LCC) SpiceJet launched two previous discount schemes that led to other airlines also offer the promotional fares.

"These advance purchase offers are a win-win for customers, for airlines, and for 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," said airline's new chief operating officer Sanjiv Kapoor.

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