As private airlines intensified low fare war, Air India on Wednesday launched a 60-day advance purchase fare scheme to woo vacation travellers on its domestic network offering prices close to air-conditioned train fares.
The advance purchase fare (Apex) tickets are available for sale on various routes operated by Air India from Wednesday for travel commencing 60 days and beyond. Customers availing the offer can undertake travel from the middle of May, the airline said in statement. This latest Air India (AI) offer comes on the heels of the cash-strapped national carrier announcing 30-day and 7-day special fares recently.The Apex scheme targets vacation travellers during the peak holiday season luring them from train to air travel and is also an attempt to strengthen AI foothold in the leisure travel market, an Air India spokesperson said.
The national carrier has priced the tickets matching closely with AC train fares. An all-inclusive 60-day advance purchase fare on Delhi-Mumbai sector would cost Rs 3,981 while on Delhi Lucknow route it would cost as low as Rs 2,562.
Similarly, an all inclusive Mumbai-Kolkata fare would be Rs 4,556, Mumbai-Bangalore Rs 2,930, Delhi-Chennai for Rs 4,852, Delhi-Kolkata and Delhi-Hyderabad would cost Rs 4,012. Kolkata-Hyderabad and Kolkata-Chennai would be Rs 3,798, according to airlines.
The scheme is likely to invigorate a price war among the airlines, after budget carrier SpiceJet in January and Jet Airways last month came up with low priced tickets. The Chennai-based SpiceJet was the first one to slash air fares, after they sky-rocketed during the winter holidays, by introducing fares as low as Rs 2,013 in January, forcing the rivals to roll out similar schemes.
Weeks after SpiceJet, full service carrier Jet Airways too put up two million seats on the domestic network up for sale as low as Rs 2,350 and IndiGo, GoAir and Air India too responded with similar offers.