Air India announced on Friday that it will offer hefty discounts on seats available within 3 hours of departure. "The national carrier has decided for the domestic sector that 'very last moment inventory' that is available seats within three hours of departure would be sold at a hefty discount, normally exceeding 40 per cent of the selling price", reported news agency Asian News International. The announcement from state-run Air India comes at a time when full-service carrier Jet Airways has suspended its operations.
Since debt-laden Jet Airways halted its flights, there have been several reports of rising airfares.
Last month, the Civil Aviation Ministry had asked domestic carriers to desist from raising fares on routes connecting far-flung areas especially in the northeast.
The ministry had also decided to allot some slots vacated by Jet Airways to other airlines on a temporary basis. "To reduce the inconvenience of passengers and facilitate induction of additional capacity it has been decided to allot some of the slots vacated by Jet Airways to other airlines on purely temporary basis, for a period of 3 months," it had said.
The aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had also requested airlines to augment the number of flights.
The country has also witnessed a rising competition in the civil aviation market boosted by robust growth in passenger traffic registered over past few months.
According to DGCA, passengers carried by domestic airlines during January-March 2019 were 354.53 lakhs as against 337.90 lakhs during the corresponding period of previous year thereby registering a growth of 4.92 per cent.
(With agency inputs)