SpiceJet, IndiGo cut fare in lean season, fuel price war

Domestic airlines are gearing up for the lean travel season — February to April — coming out with discounts to lure passengers. Low-cost carrier SpiceJet announced on Thursday that it will offer fares for R2,013 across its network for tickets booked between January 11 and January 13, while India's largest passenger carrier IndiGo will offer discounted fares on select domestic routes.

A Mumbai-Delhi one-way fare on IndiGo is available for R2,010 as part of the low cost carrier's discounts. Jet Airways has also come out with a winter sale where it is offering an 8% discount on tickets booked on its website. However, despite the discount, Jet Airways has not underpriced its tickets and the fares still remain higher than its low-cost competitors.

Low-cost carrier GoAir and national carrier Air India are yet to announce discounts, however, industry experts say the two airlines are likely to follow suit soon given the competition that will emerge after the 'sale season' for air tickets.

"February to April is the most lean season for all airlines and soon you will see all airlines offering discounts," said a travel agent. "February-end onwards, there will be a number of seats available on discounted fares and all airlines will be offering lower fares."

While SpiceJet's discounted fares are specifically targeting the the lean season of February 1 to April 30, the other airlines haven't elaborated on the travel period for their discounts.

The crisis at Kingfisher Airlines had propped up fares since May 2012. The increasing fares have an adverse impact on passenger demand, which has fallen every month since May 2012 till the last available November 2012 data.

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