In an attempt to make last-minute flying affordable and avoid seat vacancies on the flight, the national carrier Air India on July 10 announced to reduce its prices on metro routes to that of AC second tier of Rajdhani Express.
Prices on metro routes like Delhi-Mumbai, Delhi-Bengaluru, Delhi-Chennai and Delhi-Kolkata will now be same as the fairs of Rajdhani Express AC second tier on these routes.
However, the prices will only be applicable on bookings made four hours before the departure and if you have an unconfirmed Rajdhani ticket.
While talking to the media, Air India Chairman and Managing Director Ashwani Lohani said, “Our objective is to fill these remaining seats and this can be achieved with such affordable fares. In addition, this would also help us increase our passengers’ revenue.”
The average load factor of Air India is 74 percent across its domestic flight whereas seat occupancy on metro routes is about 80 percent, he said.
The Rajdhani AC2 seat on these metro routes is now Rs 2,870 (Delhi-Mumbai); Rs 2,915 (Delhi-Kolkata); Rs 3,820 (Delhi-Chennai); and Rs 4,085 (Delhi-Bengaluru).
Air India’s move may lead other airlines also to follow the strategy, which is accused of charging two-three times extra their original fares for last-minute bookings.
Last month also, the AI launched a similar scheme called “Super Saver” to fly unconfirmed passengers of Rajdhani trains at fares equivalent to AC first class ticket prices. The scheme remains open until September 30. Waitlisted passengers of Rajdhani trains can book an air ticket at the price of Rajdhani AC first tier.