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Is this the beginning of Airline Wars in India Part 2?


There have been quite a few airline ticket sales in the last few months, with airlines trying out every trick in their sleeve to get a bigger market share, and to improve their respective brand loyalties. Jet Airways brought out their GetMore campaign and even gave out free business class upgrades on Twitter. SpiceJet introduced SpiceClub at ₹399 and since then have been constantly devaluing the product to figure out their best fit. As recently as yesterday, they’ve added loyalty points for those who hold their SpiceClub cards (only). Air Asia brings out its sales every once in a while, and they are forever fighting the pricing war. We’ve had a few new players come in the last year or so – Air Costa, Air Pegasus and Trujet, but they’ve had their own financial troubles and have had to shut down their operations at one point in time or the other.

Indigo Airlines always enjoyed a fairly decent brand loyalty, but that was until they started pricing seats differently, and to make matters worse, in recent times, they have been finding it very difficult to keep up flight timings, something they were famous for. In a fresh attempt to gain loyalty amongst flyers, Indigo is now offering flight vouchers worth ₹899 for ₹99.

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Indigo Airlines ₹999 vouchers

The ₹899 is split across different vouchers of course, and on payment of ₹99, this is what you get

  1. Booking Vouchers – 2 Booking Vouchers worth ₹350/- each, which can be redeemed against the base fare only, while booking IndiGo domestic flight tickets, provided that, the date of travel is 21 days or more after the date of booking.
  2. Service Vouchers – 1 Service Voucher worth ₹99/- and 1 Service Voucher worth ₹100/- which can be redeemed against purchase of special services, that is, meals, seat selection, pre-paid excess baggage, Fast Forward, infant fee, lounge and unaccompanied minor only.
  3. In one booking/ PNR a maximum of 1 Booking Voucher (₹350) and 1 Service Voucher (₹99/₹100) can be used. This is irrespective of the number of passengers in the booking or whether the journey is one-way, return or multi-city.

More details can be found here.

We didn’t cover the Spice Club offerings from SpiceJet here since the product wasn’t that attractive, but this offering from Indigo definitely does make sense, with them flying to 41 destinations as of now, and especially if you foresee any local travel in the near future.

In my opinion, we are beginning to see version 2 of the Indian airline carrier wars. The first war which was focussed on pricing led to the acquisition of Air Deccan and the downfall of Kingfisher Airlines. The second one is more focussed on loyalty, and I wonder what’s going to happen the second time around. One thing is for certain, there has never been a better time to fly in India!

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What do you think of the airline scene in India now? Who do you think is going to win? And, who will lose? Let me know in the comments below.

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