Mumbai, Oct 23 () : The resumption of Virgin Airline’s service in the Mumbai-London sector has sent other airlines running to cut fares to fight competition.
The first to announce a slash in fares was British Airways. The airline offer is for travel in the World Traveller Economy Class on the Mumbai-London-Mumbai route and online booking before Friday will get this benefit, the airline said.
Rs 40,943 inclusive of taxes and levies is the BA offer. Termed a holiday offer, it is from October 16-19 and again from October 29 and November 16.
The Naresh Goyal owned Jet Airways discount fare offering coincides with the day the Richard Branson owned Virgin Atlantic resumes operations in Mumbai and offers Rs 9,990 per passenger (round trip, excluding taxes) on this route for 18 days from October 29. The Jet’s round fare will be Rs 27,990 compared to British Airways fare of 59,654.
Virgin airlines cryptic reply was that it was happy that their entry is doing good for the travellers. Virgin Atlantic offers Rs 31,600 on its economy class for a one way trip from Mumbai to London. The airline also has Indian crew and desi food so that Indians do not plump for desi carriers. A three meal course with alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks is the standard menu for this airline. The airline boasts of the best on board bar.
Virgin airlines stopped India operations from Mumbai in 2009. It then cited economic slowdown. With Kingfisher stopping the flights to London and joining British Airways One Air alliance could have made Virgin entry back to Mumbai tough.
Now it operates from Delhi to USA at the cost of Rs 36,000 a trip. According to air traffic data, the London-Mumbai route is the 12th busiest in the world. It boasts of second busiest traffic in India.
British Midland pulled out first to be replaced by Kingfisher. To get profits in this route, an airline has to operate aircraft with 260 plus seats and get 75% booking to make profits.