Airlines in India are slashing business class fares because of a 10 to 15 per cent fall in business class passenger traffic, due to cost cutting across companies.
On January 5, 2009, Jet Airways introduced an APEX offer (fares for booking 21 days later) 30-35 per cent lower than standard business class fares, across sectors.
The Jet Airways APEX offer for three days varies from one-way fares of Rs 7900 and Rs 8100. The five-day APEX fares and seven-day APEX fares are between Rs 6,500 to Rs 11,500 and Rs 4,500 to Rs 17,500. Jet Airways’ APEX offers are applicable to 60 flights.
Jet Airways also offered some special fares for its international routes today, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, London and New York.
A reports in Business Standard says that Paramount, Kingfisher Airlines, and Air India are offering free travel for spouses to bring back business class travelers.
Air India’s scheme for the business class is valid between January and February 2009. As per the scheme, business class travelers can take spouses along and need to pay only the passenger service fee and airport user development charges. Air India also offers a free stay for the spouse at select Taj properties, according to reports.
Paramount is also offering business class passengers a ticket for spouses for Rs 750 during January 2009.
Kingfisher Airlines has announced a free ticket for a companion for business class users.
Airlines also hope that the reduced gap between economy fares and business class fares will attract passengers who are not cash-strapped and are willing to upgrade.
Business class fare cuts can be seen in the Middle East as well. On January 4, 2009, airlines cut prices upto 40% for the business class and around 20% for the economy class.
Airlines have been slashing economy class fares as well. Emirates return economy fares for flights from India to Dubai, New York, and London now range from Rs 15,490, Rs 20,990 and Rs 39,990, respectively.
British Airways has cut fares for the India-London flights by 35 percent.
Emirates Airlines slashed air fares by 10-20 percent. But, demand has not increased proportionally so fares may drop even more.
Kingfisher Airlines announced on January 3, 2009, a basic domestic fare cut upto 60 per cent.
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