The discount in airfares offered by different airlines for a three-day period, it seems, is being grabbed by passengers, with travel agents and industry insiders claiming that ticket sales have increased by more than 400-500% in the past two days.
The discount war started after low-cost carriers, including SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir, announced their flash sales for those booking in advance. The battle became more intense when full-service carriers Jet Airways and Air India joined the competition.
The period between January and March is generally considered lean for leisure travelling. Airlines often come up with such discounts during this period to push up sales. However, unlike last year, airlines have been more disciplined in offering discounts, only on non-busy routes and advance bookings.
Sources said about 70-80% bookings are still being done through travel agents and portals.
President of travel portal Yatra.com Sharat Dhall said, “The discounted airfares have definitely brought cheer to Indian travellers.”
Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Jaipur and Lucknow have been the top five destinations for Mumbaikars in the past two days.
Travel agents are of the opinion that the rush has mostly been out of impulse. Rajesh Magow, CEO of MakeMyTrip.com, said, “These promotions are resulting in many people planning holidays on impulse as popular long-haul routes are available for cheaper rates.”
Iqbal Mulla, president of Travel Agents Association of India, said the response has been tremendous and it’s good for the business. “In fact, many passengers have been waiting, anticipating the discounts.”
SpiceJet and Air India, however, said sales figures would be available only after completion of the sales deadline on Thursday midnight.