Air India, Air India Express mull fare hike in festive season

August 1st, 2008 - 8:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 1 (IANS) To encash the rise in traffic during the festive season, Air India and its low-cost carrier Air India Express plan to increase the fares by 10 to 15 percent on various sectors during October-November, an official said Friday. “The 10-15 per cent increase is all because of the peak season. This is normal for the entire aviation industry which goes by the market demand across the world,” A.K. Tirkey, Air India’s commercial manager (eastern India), told reporters here Friday.

But he made it clear that the proposed hike was not because of the fuel prices shooting through the roof. “That thing is there. But the main reason is the increased demand for tickets during the coming season.”

Tirkey was speaking on the sidelines of a function where a marketing collaboration between the company and Singapore Tourism Board was announced.

As part of the tie-up, the one-way fares between Kolkata and Singapore would start from Rs.1,299 (plus Rs.4,325 as taxes) for those travelling between August 1 and September 30.

The joint marketing strategy would see the Singapore Tourism Board and Air India Express embark on a three-pronged strategy to promote greater tourist flows into Singapore this financial year.

“These are consumer promotion activities in eastern India, penetration into new markets and new customer segments and channel development which includes deepening ties with the travel trade and media,” said Tirkey.

The Air India Express, a wholly owned subsidiary of National Aviation Company of India Limited, plans to have 25 aircraft in its fleet - seven leased and 18 owned - by the end of 2009.

AI Express now has 19 state-of-the-art Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

With the introduction of various new flights, the airlines now operates 164 weekly international/domestic flights between 14 Indian cities and 14 international destinations.

“We now have a load factor of 67 percent. We are trying to increase it to 90 percent,” said Tirkey.

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