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Air Travel becomes cheaper

Mumbai, Aug 14( ): Travel abroad got cheaper as international airlines reduced fares by 20% to fill vacant seats during the August-October lean season.

Second-largest airline by volume of traffic, Jet Airways slashed ticket prices by half for bookings before 9 August. Other airlines are following suit.

Travel agencies said airlines are offering tickets at least 15-20% less to lure passengers from other airlines.

Travel sites post lower fares during this period as it is in the off-peak period and airlines have large inventory of seats. Pleasure travellers take advantage of such attractive fares as it attracts those who do not go on summer vacation.

Promotional fares of Virgin Atlantic business class was extended to 10 August. The airline offering for Mumbai-London was Rs. 155,550 one way for travel between August to September. It introduced special economy class fares for Rs 51,000 on the same route if tickets were booked before 9 August. Under this scheme, a passenger can travel between September to December.

For those travelling to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok via Colombo, Sri Lankan Airlines is offering 15-20% discount under the label hot-price category. In the Gulf sector, Qatar Airways had introduced economy fares. Emirates has increased the baggage limit by 10 kg in this season .This makes the permissible free baggage limit to 40kg.

In the domestic sector, Jet Airways sold 700,000 seats starting Rs.1,777(short haul) Rs 2777 ( medium) and Rs 3777 (long distance). The occupancy rate this month is only 50%. In April the occupancy rate increased and in June it declined.

April- June is the peak season and then onwards till October the period is lean. With festival season of Onam to start in Kerala next month and an extended weekend with August 15 falling on a Thursday,air travel is likely to pick up with the discounted fares. SpiceJet has not offered any discounts while Indigo is doing so.

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