Air India too joins price war, offers steep discounts on all routes

MUMBAI: A day after its rivals SpiceJetBSE 3.32 % and IndiGo launched an aggressive price war offering massive discounts on 60-90 days advance bookings, Air India Wednesday kicked off festival sales with deep rebates on bookings in the same period.
While Air India did not confirm the development, travel agents and ticketing portals said the national carrier has also got into the price war offering discounts on all domestic routes.
For instance, AI is offering an all-inclusive Delhi- Mumbai ticket at a low of Rs 3,881 if booked 60 days in advance, while the same will come for Rs 4,983 for a 30-day advance booking.
This is the fourth discount sales the airlines have started since mid-January. According to Neelu Singh, chief operating officer at the Cox&King-promoted, “These are tactics that carriers deploy to retain market share. It is a win-win situation for both. While passengers, can fly cheaper by almost 30 per cent in case of Air India, the airline can fill at least 10-15 per cent of their inventory on these fares.”
She further said her portal has seen massive jump in bookings since yesterday. “We saw an increase of 25 per cent in bookings since yesterday, and are expecting the momentum to rise even further, with tourist destinations such as Kerala, Rajasthan and Kashmir likely to benefit the most.”
Cash-strapped SpiceJet and IndiaGo had yesterday slashed fares to cash in on the forthcoming summer holiday season, offering massive discounts on tickets in what they called ‘super Holi sales’ and ‘flash sales’.
SpiceJet was offering all-inclusive tickets as low as Rs 1,999 on select routes and on limited capacity, while IndiGo was providing up to 30 per cent discounts from its “flash sale” for the next five days.
This is the fourth price war in this year. In the second week of January and twice in February all the leading airlines had launched dirt cheap fares, slashing fares up to 75 per cent on advance bookings. All the discounted fare packages were initiated by SpiceJet.              —PTI

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