Kingfisher follows others, slashes airfares

January 2nd, 2009 - 9:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) The UB Group-owned Kingfisher Airlines Thursday announced a 21 to 65 percent fare cut on various routes with effect from Jan 1.”The declining price of ATF (air turbine fuel) facilitates such consumer-benefiting initiatives that will also stimulate the industry. The rate cuts are consistent with our mission to aggressively pursue increase in market share and to deliver India’s only five-star experience at highly competitive fares,” said Kingfisher chairman and chief executive Vijay Mallya in a statement.

The Kingfisher statement said the airline would now offer “significant discounts to its traditional corporate customer base” and offer new incentive programmes.

“We will aggressively pursue sales and share and this will help sustain increased load factors in the shoulder season between February and April,” added Mallya.

Last week, Kingfisher announced a range of fare cuts without exactly specifying the quantum of cuts across sectors.

Earlier this week, main competitors Jet Airways and Air India announced fare cuts following downward revision of ATF prices. While Jet reduced fares by up to 40 percent, the state-owned Air India slashed fares up to 82 percent in at least 20 sectors.

ATF forms the single largest component of an airline’s operating costs and have come down by more than 50 percent since August.

The fuel currently accounts for less than 40 percent of an airline’s operational costs, compared to 50 percent around three months earlier.

The civil aviation ministry has making repeated appeals to airlines to pass on the benefits of these cost cuts to passengers to stimulate air travel, which has seen a decline this year.

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