New Delhi: Air India's (AI) competitive introductory fares on the India-US sector, especially in the business class segment, are likely to force other carriers operating on the sector to revise prices. This, of course, is contingent upon the Indian flag carrier maintaining its service standards.
Apart from offering the distinct advantage of a non-stop service on the New Delhi-New York route, the airline is also offering competitive fares of Rs1.57 lakh (inclusive of taxes) for the business class and Rs44, 967 for the economy class.
AI's business class fare on this sector is cheaper than those offered by Continental Airlines, American Airlines and Delta.
According to AI officials, the airline's strategy on the India-US sector has entailed adding capacity in an attempt to gain market share. They say that even if the fares should be revised at a later date on this route the carrier expects to remain competitive, yet premium.
The India-US sector is one of the most lucrative markets for Indian carriers getting nearly 20 per cent of India's international traffic. The Gulf accounts for about 40 per cent of India's international traffic.
According to industry sources, long haul, non-stop flights on the India-US sector are becoming increasingly popular with business executives travelling on the route paying a little extra to save on time.
While Jet Airways operates daily flights to the US via Brussels, Air India is seizing the advantage through non-stop services to US destinations, made possible by brand new long haul aircraft now joining its fleet.
After Mumbai and Delhi, AI is now planning to launch non-stop flights on the Bangalore-San Francisco route.