Airlines announce summer discounts

MUMBAI: Bracing themselves for the oncoming lean season, most airlines have put out discounted domestic fares for June-September travel.

The fares begin to drop from June 20 and hit extreme lows through July, August and September, except for certain days like the ones around the Independence Day weekend when they rise a bit, reports The Times of India.

A Mumbai-Delhi return ticket booked this week for travel in July can be had for Rs 4,300, all-inclusive. A one-way fare on the route started at Rs 2,100 on IndiGo, taxes included.

Routes on which ticket costs remain high through the year, like Mumbai-Kolkata or Mumbai-Kochi, also showed a cooling of fares.

An indicator of changing booking behaviour of the Indian market was the slight increase in fares around the Independence Day weekend. August 15 falls on a Tuesday and so August 14, a Monday, is likely to see many vacant seats in offices.

Airlines have prepared for the travel surge by hiking prices 20-25%. On Wednesday, the Mumbai-Kochi round trip fare for travel on August 12, a Saturday, and return on August 14, a Tuesday, started at Rs 6,300.

“Booking for the Independence Day weekend hasn’t really commenced. Last year, bookings for this short vacation began 15-20 days in advance. In anticipation of demand, airlines have moved the fares on these dates to a higher bucket,” an airline official said, requesting anonymity.

Sharat Dhall of yatra.com said the SpiceJet and Indigo summer sale with fares starting at Rs 849 was an attempt to stimulate early bookings for travel during June-September.

“This move is likely to continue providing buoyancy to domestic air passenger traffic, which has been growing robustly during the last few years. We are expecting that other carriers are likely to join the sale as well,” Dhall said.


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