SpiceJet Ups Ante with 'Cheaper Than Train' Fares at Rs 599

SpiceJet Ups Ante with 'Cheaper Than Train' Fares at Rs 599

SpiceJet's "cheaper-than-train-fares" sale, announced on Wednesday, promises to add fuel to fire in the ongoing air fare war in the domestic airline industry. The budget carrier is selling one-way air tickets for as low as Rs 599 (all-inclusive), making it the cheapest offer announced so far this year.

SpiceJet's latest offer is for travel between July 1 and October 24, 2015; bookings can be done between February 11 and 13 (both dates included). The fares are non-refundable and non-changeable, SpiceJet said in a statement.

Most domestic carriers, including full-service airlines such as Jet Airways, have come up with aggressive discounts over the last few weeks to make the most of a lean season. January-March and July-September quarters are considered off season for domestic travel.

Jet Airways' promotional scheme, however, was aimed to attract customers on routes operated by Vistara, the airline promoted by Tata Group and Singapore Airlines. Vistara, the third full-service airline in India after Air India and Jet Airways, started its operations last month. (Read)

Other budget carriers such as IndiGo, India's biggest by market share, and GoAir have also announced aggressive discounts on advance travel over the past two weeks. The credit for cheapest air fare, before SpiceJet's latest announcement, went to AirAsia India, which had priced tickets for as low as Rs 699 (all-inclusive) on advance bookings. (Read)

SpiceJet is undergoing changes under a new management, but it has not given up on its strategy of aggressive discounts, a trend it started last year. Last month, its board approved selling shares worth up to Rs 1,500 crore in the company, following a deal between its current majority owner and a co-founder leading a rescue plan.

Ajay Singh, who helped found the airline in 2005, agreed last month to buy a controlling stake from billionaire majority owner Kalanithi Maran's Sun Group in a bid to turn around the money-losing airline.