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Airlines' price war spans foreign shores

Bapun Raz

Staff member
3 Nov 2010
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Mumbai: Indian full service airlines, buffeted by high fuel costs and intense competition, face new headwinds on their lucrative international routes as budget carriers launch services with rock-bottom fares.

With low-cost carriers launching routes using narrow-body aircraft to overseas destinations within five hours flying time of India, full-service players are being forced to respond with similar no-frills offerings on popular and profitable routes.

Budget airline IndiGo, which in June firmed up a $16.2 billion order for 180 single-aisle Airbus aircraft, has received government approval to fly to Singapore, Bangkok, Dubai and Muscat, and is luring passengers with round-trip fares as low as 9,999 rupees ($220).

By comparison, full service carriers charge between 17,000 and 22,000 rupees for economy class Mumbai-Singapore routes booked a month in advance.
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