SpiceJet has dropped fares again launching Rupee one base fare in a three-day sale offer beginning Tuesday.
Travel period for discount offer is from July 1, 2014 to March 28, 2015. However some passengers complained they were unable to purchase one rupee tickets suggesting an extremely low inventory on offer.
Within 30 minutes of first booking attempt, the Delhi-Kolkata return fare for travel in July shot up from Rs 5,600 to around Rs 16,000, complained a Delhi resident.
While the airline said the discount fares will help stimulate market and encourage people to opt for air travel, aviation sources said SpiceJet has been facing a serious cash crunch and the discount offer will help it mop up cash.
The Airport Authority of India has been pressuring the airline to clear its Rs 120 crore pending dues. It is learnt airline recently made a part payment to AAI but payments to other vendors and suppliers too have got stretched.
Unlike full service airlines which give credit to agents, low cost airlines collect advance deposits from agents and issue inventory against it.
"The discount offers will induce agents to sell more tickets and thus increase their deposits with the airline and help it meet immediate cash requirements," a source added.
In addition to the one Rupee offer, discounted fares are also available for Rs 799 and Rs 1,499, and at other attractive rates (statutory taxes and fees not inclusive), depending on specific flight and date of travel. The limited seat offer is available for bookings made in the period April 1 to April 3, 2014 only, the airline said.
"We have been at the forefront in the Indian market in stimulating demand by offering discounted fares. These offers have served as a catalyst for travel for many potential flyers willing to plan and book early," said Kaneswaran Avili, Chief Commercial Officer, SpiceJet Ltd, who assumed his role as CCO of SpiceJet today.
"These fares will allow families to plan their vacations and weekend trips at fares lower than train fares with joy and freedom, now that the pressure of March school exams is finally over. But they need to move fast as seats are limited".
"Our market stimulation efforts have had a significant positive impact on the entire travel ecosystem at a time when the economy has slowed. We are now happy to start the new financial year and summer schedule with such an attractive offer. We have received overwhelming response to our previous offers and I am confident this sale too will attract many new flyers," added Sanjiv Kapoor, Chief Operating Officer, SpiceJet Ltd.