Kingfisher aims for fare premium with quality service

While recent consolidation in the Indian domestic market may yet lead to more profitable airlines, in the short-term the battle for passengers continues with many low-fares in the market. This week’s exclusive farewatch looks at fares over a two-week period between Delhi and Bangalore.

Six Indian airlines compete head-to-head on this route, with frequencies of between two and four per day. Average one-way fares (including all taxes and charges) were calculated across all daily departures for each airline for a two-week period starting Friday 13 July.

Chart: Dehli - Bangalore average one-way fares
Dates in the green shaded areas are weekend days. Air Sahara’s website was down on 12 July 2007. Fares for Air Sahara were collected on 13 July instead. 1 USD = 40.35 INR.

Only Indian, Jet Airways and Kingfisher attempt to charge significantly more for last minute bookings with fares twice as high as Air Deccan and Indigo for next day travel. For most of the rest of the travel period examined, one-way fares are between 3500 INR ($90) and 6000 INR ($150). This is very cheap for a 1,736km flight and helps explain why few Indian airlines are currently profitable.

Kingfisher is definitely trying to justify a fare premium through its use of IFE on domestic flights and high service quality with new aircraft. Air Deccan’s reputation as the lowest fare airline in India is challenged here by newcomer Indigo, which is consistently slightly cheaper. Both of these LCCs offer two daily frequencies compared with three for Air Sahara and four daily flights for Jet Airways, Indian and Kingfisher.


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