Indian Airlines on Friday announced a new APEX fare slab for purchase of tickets in eight sectors to match the heightened competition among domestic carriers to attract second AC train passengers.
Tickets under these low fares can be purchased 28 days in advance, two days less than those offered by Air Sahara and Jet Airways.
The new D-28 segment would be valid for travel on Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Kolkata, Delhi-Hyderabad, Delhi-Bangalore, Delhi-Chennai, Kolkata-Mumbai, Kolkata-Bangalore and Chennai-Kolkata sectors, Anil Goyal, IA's commercial director, announced at a press conference.
The IA earlier had only two segments, D-7 (one week advance) and D-21 (three weeks advance), under the Smart APEX scheme.
Goyal said the D-28 fares would be available for sale on one-way or round trips as against round trip fares offered by Air Sahara.
However, the 30-day advance fare offered by Air Sahara is valid throughout the year, while the D-28 fare of IA would be valid for sale till October 15.
The IA commercial director said the airline had already launched the Metro-nonMetro (MnM) scheme between July 16 and October 15 under which a passenger travelling between two metros could further take a flight to a non-metro city by paying just Rs 1,000.
The MnM scheme could also be availed of with D-7 APEX fares.
A normal Bangalore-Delhi-Chandigarh fare would be Rs 13,335 compared with the MnM fare of Rs 11,630. But if D-7 APEX fare is availed of, the total fare would be Rs 9580 only.
Goyal said the fare initiatives stood out in their tremendous impact on the domestic aviation market.
Asked about low-cost carrier options, he said the pricing initiatives and schemes would be determined in accordance with the market situations. "We will react when the time comes. In this industry, it is normal that the fare structures and schemes are based on reactions".
Among the various schemes already being offered by IA are the 'Flyaway' holiday packages, Point-to-Point fares, Bharat Darshan, Desh Videsh, Super Savers, Super Saver Golden Edge and co-branded cards.
A new Super Saver Silver Edge would be introduced shortly to attract regular air travellers to offer certain number of coupons at a low and fixed price, Goyal added.
The Delhi-Mumbai D-28 fare would be Rs 2500, Delhi-Kolkata Rs 3000, Delhi-Hyderabad Rs 3000, Delhi-Bangalore Rs 3500, Delhi-Chennai Rs 3500, Kolkata-Mumbai Rs 3500, Kolkata-Bangalore Rs 3500 and Chennai-Kolkata Rs 3500.