I finally begin to sense a pattern here, and this is clearly thanks to the new kid on the block: Indigo (6E) which started its international operations as of September 1, 2011 with a DEL-DXB flight. Indigo already has a schedule in place to launch flights to Dubai, Muscat, Singapore and Bangkok over between September 2011 and October 2011 from Delhi and Mumbai. Here is a post I wrote about Indigo turning 5 and getting ready to go international. Indigo has started to offer INR 9,999 and equivalent fares in other currencies to celebrate this milestone. Here is an extract of the launch schedule from their website. Indigo, being an all Airbus A320 fleet, will fly the same aircraft to these international destinations.
Earlier today, I noticed on the Jet Airways website a new promotion going up. This one had to do with their special fares on exactly the same routes, and started at about INR 12,500 (including taxes) for various destinations, and valid for round-trips finishing within a month. Jet flies the single-aisle B737x to most of these routes with the exception of Singapore where it flies a wide-body A330-200.
All these promo fares are only available on the Jet Airways website, since when I tried pricing a ticket using my TA, and an online booking site, they quoted INR 24K approx for a BOM-SIN-BOM ticket, which was pricing at INR 19K on the website of 9W.
While I was expecting a fare cut when the new player comes along, Jet Airways is not the only one with a dog in this fight. Kingfisher Airlines is also chipping in with its bit. Kingfisher does not fly on all the routes as 9W and 6E, but it does have limited operations to Dubai, Bangkok and Singapore. Kingfisher has been running a promotion valid till 30th Sept 2011 called Fly Far East where it was offering special fares to Singapore and Bangkok. It has now introduced new fares on Mumbai-Dubai and Mumbai-Bangkok round trips which are valid for travel till December 31st for bookings made before September 30, 2011.
As is the case with Jet, Kingfisher also has a A-330 to Singapore from Mumbai, and flies single aisle planes (A320s) on the other segments.
To conclude, I declare the regional fare wars to be on ;)!!
I’m not sure how long will it last, 6E fares are already climbing northwards, in terms of service i will always go with 9W any day. Given that they are a bit longish flights by 6E standards are they serving meals as part of fare charged on 6E for the international sectors?
the 9999 fares from 6E are promo fares. They will not last forever. However, I have a feeling this fare war will last for a while now. the Indigo offering is basic like on domestic. No differentiation except ‘you may be served liquor’. No IFE, no food. Think AirAsia. However 9W and IT are trying to scoop that market from 6E right now. Little they remember that 6E runs a profitable ship while IT/9W are not running one 😉 Full service at low cost is a bad idea! Unless 9W has carried out its plan of converting most regional flights to the Konnect model also.