Air India, IndiGo, GoAir join latest war over airfares

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It’s bonanza time for air travellers, with Air India, IndiGo and GoAir on Thursday joining the latest war over airfares, launched by SpiceJet which had earned the wrath of DGCA for offering one rupee air fares two days ago.

Air India launched a short-term ‘Monsoon Bonanza’ scheme under which tickets on 40 select domestic sectors can be bought till Saturday for travel till September 30.

A spokesperson for the national carrier said the scheme covers 108 flights, including select domestic legs of international flights. The tickets under the scheme are priced at a flat rate of Rs. 1,499 plus applicable taxes.

No-frill carrier IndiGo also announced discounted ticket prices on several sectors, provided they are booked at least 90 days before the travel date.

The discounted fares start at Rs. 1,389 for a one-way ticket, the airline said in a letter to travel agents, adding these fares were available only on direct flights on IndiGo’s network.

While the airline was silent about by when a passenger has to book a ticket to get these low fares, it said only a limited number of seats were being offered under the scheme and travel has to be between July 1 and September 30.

Travel agents, requesting anonymity, said Rs. 1,389 price was the lowest on IndiGo’s network and valid for a one-way travel between Delhi and Lucknow. A Delhi-Mumbai ticket can be bought for a little over Rs. 2,400.

The actual fare would be more as a flyer would also have to pay for passenger service fee, User Development Fee and other taxes, they said.

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

This is the fourth time this year that a fare war has been initiated, particularly by the no-frill carriers.

SpiceJet’s rupee one offer had attracted a mad rush of passengers with its website crashing on Tuesday. Within hours, aviation regulator DGCA came down heavily on it, terming the offer as “predatory” and a “malpractice” and asking it to stop it immediately.

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