AI, Jet Airways take on Vistara with fare war

Air Costa too enters the competition

AI, Jet Airways take on Vistara with fare war

With Vistara hitting the skies, its competitors Air India and Jet Airways appear to be gearing up to challenge the newbie by launching an airfare war.

National carrier Air India was the first to get off the block on Monday announcing 'Spring Sale' with short advance purchase bookings for travel between January 16 and April 30. The fare starts at a low of Rs 1,557, an Air India statement said.

The Air India sale is valid on all flights on the domestic network, including the domestic leg of international flights. The sale, which started on Monday, will end on January 18.
A Bengaluru-Hyderabad or a Delhi-Amritsar ticket could be booked for Rs 1,558. This fare, however, could increase if one does not book early.

Chennai return for Rs 2.8K
Not to be left behind, Jet Airways also came up with a ‘LoFares’ sale. Soon, low-cost carrier Air Costa announced the launch of 'Happy Sankranthi' sale, offering fares starting as low as Rs 1,799 all-Inclusive. Tickets can be booked between Monday and Thursday for travel between February 1 and April 15.

“With tickets starting as low as Rs 1,557, the Air India sale has witnessed a very enthusiastic response. Bookings are up by over 100 per cent week-on-week. This sale was followed by a similar offer from Jet Airways,” said Ranjeet Oak, Senior Vice President (Flights) of travel portal MakeMyTrip.

Jet Airways has come up with all-inclusive attractive return fares. A Bengaluru-Chennai – Bengaluru return ticket would cost Rs 2,876, while for a Bengaluru-Coimbatore-Bengaluru flight it would be Rs 5,351. Bengaluru-Kochi-Bengaluru will cost Rs 5,343, Bengaluru-Mangalore-Bengaluru Rs 5,947 and Bengaluru-Pune-Bengaluru Rs 6,107. For Jet, the ‘Lo Fares’ tickets must be purchased on or before March 31. Travel must commence and be completed on or before March 31.

Though Air India and Jet Airways may not acknowledge it, the entry of Vistara, a joint venture of Tata Sons and Singapore Airlines, appears to have prompted the rivals to keep up pressure on the new entrant. Vistara is also not giving up on fares. On some days, it provides tickets cheaper than its rivals.

Fixing fares is a dynamic exercise and they adjust their fares according to market condition, a senior Vistara official said. Initially, Vistara’s fares were a bit high compared with that of rivals. However, it was adjusted with the market later. An analysis before the discount sale by Air India and Jet Airways showed that the Vistara fares were on the lower side compared with its rivals on some sectors.

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