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Air India, Jet Airways cut fares on London sector

Air India, Jet Airways cut fares on London sector
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First Published: Fri, Sep 05 2008. 12 19 AM IST

Fare war: An Air India plane at IGI Airport in New Delhi. The carrier has cut prices only for economy-class fliers to London. Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint
Fare war: An Air India plane at IGI Airport in New Delhi. The carrier has cut prices only for economy-class fliers to London. Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint
Updated: Fri, Sep 05 2008. 12 19 AM IST
New Delhi/Mumbai: National Aviation Co. of India Ltd-run Air India, Jet Airways (India) Ltd and international carriers have cut fares of London flights by Rs10,000 to Rs12,000, a day after Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, merging with Deccan Aviation Ltd, launched its first overseas service between Bangalore and the UK capital.
British Airways Plc. reduced fares on Tuesday for its flights from India to London. Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd also has decided to reduce fares on its UK flights, travel firms said.
Fare war: An Air India plane at IGI Airport in New Delhi. The carrier has cut prices only for economy-class fliers to London. Harikrishna Katragadda / Mint
According to them, a return trip from Indian cities to London will now cost around Rs35,000 that includes Rs25,000 in taxes. The fare was some Rs48,000 that included Rs22,000 in taxes a few days ago.
“In a competitive environment, with new capacity being added and fares being lowered, we have responded to the marketplace,” said Air India spokesman Jitender Bhargava. Air India flies to London from New Delhi and Mumbai and routes some of these flights to New York.
Air India said it has cut prices only for economy-class fliers to London.
An official at online travel firm Makemytrip (India) Pvt. Ltd said Kingfisher is matching the reduction in fares by other carriers. “The fares going down (so drastically) at this time is basically welcoming Kingfisher to London,” said Sanjeev Bhasin, assistant vice-president at Makemytrip.
A travel agent said the reductions may force West Asian carriers—which often offer the cheapest fares on one-stop flights to London—to follow suit.
“Now that airlines operating directly to the UK have slashed the fares, other carriers operating to London through their hubs such as Dubai or Doha will also participate in this fare war,” said another travel agent. Both agents did not want to be named.
Other airlines connecting the UK from India include Emirates, Qatar Airways, Swiss International Air Lines, Air France-KLM and Lufthansa.
tarun.s@livemint.com
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First Published: Fri, Sep 05 2008. 12 19 AM IST