Friday, October 26, 2018

Winter season airfares plunge as more planes arrive

With 22% more flights scheduled this winter season asking more for seats to be filled, the domestic airlines have once again started a fare war, offering tickets for as low as Rs 900.

Market leader IndiGo has come up with discounts for 10 lakh tickets, with fares starting from Rs 899 for travel period from November 8 to April 15 next year. The period after Diwali until the second half of December sees sales softening a bit. Rival airline GoAir had earlier come out with a similar low fare offer followed by AirAsia, Jet Airways and others.

Neelu Singh, CEO & director, Ezeego1, said, "While unsold inventory level is reducing to a large extent, airlines introducing new aircraft is leading to capacity growth, forcing them to introduce last-minute sales to fill the extra seats."
Rahul Bhatia, co-founder and interim CEO, IndiGo, during a conference call with analysts on Wednesday said that as competition intensifies the ticket booking outside the 15-day period before departure, which was previously about 60%, has now come down to 54%. "The real problem is the last-minute discounts," said an IndiGo executive. Most of the airlines are facing overcapacity as around 1,000 planes are on order.

According to data available with Director General of Civil Aviation, Indian airlines will operate 22% more flights during winter schedule 2018 at 23,117 departures a week as compared to the similar period last year. Globally, the winter schedule runs from the last Sunday of October to last Saturday in March of the following year.
26/10/18 Shahkar Abidi/DNA

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