TMCnet News

Now, fly to New York for 32K
[February 14, 2006]

Now, fly to New York for 32K

(Ecomonic Times, The (India) (KRT) Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Feb. 14--MUMBAI, India -- International airfares to the United States have fallen about 20 percent as airlines prepare to fill their seats in the lean period. Return economy class fares between India and New York are down from Rs 38,000 to Rs 40,000 levels to Rs 31,500. Most leading airlines including Air-India, Lufthansa, Delta, Alitalia and American are offering the fares at the new levels.

The killjoy for the passengers are the fuel surcharges, on the trans-Atlantic routes, that amount to about Rs 12,000 to Rs 16,000 (depending on the choice of airline) over the basic fares. Most of the airlines are offering the low fares for booking up to February 20, but passengers can travel on these up to May 31 this year.

The cut in fares to the US follow the drastic reduction in fares on the India-London route, that was offered by some carriers. Leading the fare war this time was British Airways, which offers Rs 14,500 for a Mumbai-London return economy fare.

British carrier BMI has followed suit with at Rs 14,065 fare on the same route. Surprisingly, Jet Airways and Air-India have held on to their fares and are still selling the same sector at Rs 20,000 fare levels. The fuel surcharge of the European flights ranges between Rs 8,000 and Rs 12,000 for a round trip.

However, the fare war is limited to the long-haul west bound flights and there is not much change on the Gulf and Far-east sectors. "These routes are seeing good loads and airlines see no reason to cut fares," said an airline source.

However, Sri Lankan Airline on Monday announced a special limited Rs 9,475 fare for return tickets to either Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok. The fares are exclusive of taxes and valid only up to March 8.

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