Airfare discounts buoy forward bookings

The three-day discount sale launched by domestic airlines have boosted forward bookings of carriers in February and March, a lean season for travel. With average occupancy of less than 20 per cent on flights in those months, airlines slashed fares, offering tickets at a 50 per cent discount. SpiceJet was the first to do so and others followed.The discount offer has brought back passengers, with those not planning to take air trips changing their minds and booking. Sectoral sources say occupancy was less than 20 per cent on flights 30 days from now; at present,these flights are up to 50 per cent full. “There has been an increase in bookings from individuals and families who would see air travel as discretionary spending,” said one. Airlines are now hoping to recover the loss by selling higher fare slabs but this might prove difficult.

Full report here Business Standard 


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