Just when we praised Jet Airways, India’s second largest domestic airline, for not joining the self-destroying frenzy of 50 percent discount on air fares, the airline has joined the fare war frenzy first kicked off by low-fare carrier SpiceJet on Tuesday, and followed by all the other airlines now IndiGo, GoAir, Air India, and now Jet Konnect.
The Naresh Goyal promoted airline has seen the bookings on other airlines rise by over four to five-fold, and is offering up to 50 percent discount on air fares for travel till April 15, on its low fare subsidiary, Jet Konnect. The sale comes to a close at midnight, tonight.
Despite declaring record losses this year, driven by unreasonable growth in fleet capacity, airlines are sill going ahead despite fears these fare cuts will only damage their already battered financials even further.
While travel agents feel “the passenger is the biggest gainer,” at Bangalore Aviation we opined that this was a case of airlines eating their young to survive. Passengers may get some benefits now, but in the long run, as the financial implosion of Kingfisher has shown, air fares will rise, as will taxes which will be siphoned to pay for bailouts or funding of nationalised entities like Air India and various banks to whom these airlines owe money.