For the next six days, Jet Airways is selling air tickets at a deep discount. On offer, in what the airline pegs as "India's biggest air ticket sale", are 20 lakh seats on over 450 daily flights across 57 cities in India. It comes soon after Spicejet sold 10 lakh seats in a sale last month.
Under Jet's offer, a single economy class journey on the full-service airline could cost as little as Rs. 2,250 all paid. The one-way fare from Mumbai to Delhi is down to Rs. 3,300 staring today, while a one-way ticket from Delhi to Chennai can be snapped up at Rs 3,800. This writer paid about Rs. 13,000 one way last month to travel to Chennai.
Today's announcement sent up Jet shares 3.25 per cent, after they fell 7.65 per cent on Monday; and brought down its website, presumably because of a rush to book.
Passengers who buy the Jet Airways tickets on sale must book in the next six days, but can travel any time up to December-end this year on Jet Airways and JetKonnect (the two Jet lines), the airline said. Travel sites have rushed out e-mailers and sms alerts announcing the big sale.
Low-cost carrier Spicejet began the trend in early January, putting 10 lakh seats on sale for Rs. 2,103 apiece for anywhere in the country. The offer had generated a massive response from passengers. The Spicejet offer is valid for travel from February 1 to April 30, but tickets had to be booked by January 13. Chief executive Niel Mills said SpiceJet sold 7,05,000 tickets in three days, but refused to share the revenue. But, it is learnt that the airline netted a huge Rs. 165 crore, according to a PTI report.
Describing the promo as a tactical one, Mr. Mills said he is looking at garnering 20 per cent ticket sales through such promotions.
Jet is India's second largest carrier after the unlisted Indigo. It's chief commercial officer, Sudheer Raghavan, said today, "This nationwide low-fare sales offer is a goodwill gesture to our loyal guests who will now be able to plan and schedule their travel much in advance, especially during the holiday seasons, while benefiting from these special fares."
The Indian aviation sector is going through a tumultuous time, thanks to rising fuel prices and the global economic uncertainty, coupled with intense competition, which has taken a toll on Kingfisher Airlines.
Kingfisher, which has a debt of nearly Rs. 8,000 crore and accumulated losses and liabilities of a similar amount, has been grounded since October 1 after its pilots and engineers went on strike.