Lower fares take wing today at Air India, Jet

Lower fares take wing today at Air India, Jet

New Delhi: Airfares of National Aviation Co. of India Ltd-run Air India and Jet Airways (India) Ltd will drop from Wednesday for passengers who book domestic or international tickets from call centres, websites or booking offices of the two airlines.

Ticket prices will come down by Rs350 for short haul domestic trips and Rs10,000 for trips to the US, with the two carriers deciding to abolish transaction fees they were charging per ticket since 1 November.

“Air India has decided to withdraw transaction fees for its tickets sold through its booking offices, website and call centres. The benefit will range from Rs350 for a passenger buying a domestic economy ticket to Rs10,000 for a passenger buying a first class ticket for US or Europe," Air India executive director Jitendra Bhargava said on Tuesday.

It is unclear if passengers buying the same tickets from online travel portals have to pay a transaction fee separately, but Bhargava said it was up to the portals to decide what they want to charge.

A spokesman of the country’s second largest airline by passengers flown Kingfisher Airlines Ltd, which was planning to impose the transaction fee, said on Tuesday that there will be no transaction fee “for tickets booked through the (airline’s) website, call centre, city ticketing offices".

The transaction fee was the single biggest source of earnings for travel agents from airfares.

“The agents can charge what is suitable as per client, but this will definitely generate competition. There will be no parity for the agents and they will certainly be at a disadvantage," Pradeep Lulla, acting president of the Travel Agents Federation of India, said.