Chennai: Holidays this summer just got more exciting with a host of domestic and international airlines coming up with killer discount airfares. While the airlines are seeing this as a strategy to stop bleeding and help fill up their seats and increase their load factors, the offers are huge bonus to Indians who were dithering over travel after a recessionary year.
“We have seen a 700 per cent increase in our bookings due to these discount wars, compared to last year,” avers Sanjay Bhasin, MD of Goibibo.com. The travel portal claims that the 50 per cent price slash from domestic carriers Spicjet, Jet Airways, Indigo, Air India, GoAir, etc., saw most of its travellers quickly lapping up the deals.
“Suddenly, when the customers found air fare lower than second and third AC rail fares, there was a huge rush,” he added.
While Jet Airways and others offered tickets in the range of Rs 2,250-Rs 3,800 across 57 destinations, Spicejet offered one million seats at an all-inclusive fare of Rs 2,013 on any domestic flight. Air India cut its fare by 40 per cent. In fact, ticket fare on the Delhi-Chennai route saw Air India offering it at Rs 3,701, IndiGo, Rs 3,840, Jet Airways, Rs 3,850, and SpiceJet, Rs 4,714.
In the case of global carriers, offers such as one-way flights from six Indian cities to Singapore at Rs 2,700 by Tiger Airways and 30 per cent discount from Malaysian Airlines, are luring fliers. “We saw a 50 per cent increase in queries and our portal traffic jumped during the second week of February so much that our site crashed for sometime,” said Gagan Randhawa, co-founder of Madfares.com.
“At least 15 per cent of passengers who had booked on trains cancelled to take the air route,” he added. Denying this, Southern Railway officials said, “There has been no drop or cancellation of tickets during the last few months.”