The changing economy has brought a sea change in airline operations across India because air travel is constantly getting cheaper. Budget travelers, who had selected trains in earlier flights, can now choose to travel without seeing their pickets. Figures show that the share of low cost carriers (LCCs) has increased significantly in recent years, mainly because corporate travelers are shifting to LCC due to economic downturn.
In an attempt to get these customers back, airline operators have introduced low cost air routes. The full service carrier has no way to reduce its prices, which means that the only strategy is to launch all-economy flights or transfer their flights to the low-cost wing. Nevertheless, this move appears to be beneficial for consumers as discussed below.
The biggest advantage of low-cost airlines is that the common consumers, or rather the budget travelers, are willing to travel to the air. Air travel is no longer a dream for the common man. Low-cost air services do not include expensive frills, such as complimentary meals and drinks. Instead, customers can buy their food and refreshments on the board. They have a wide range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian items, snacks and drinks to choose from. Some airlines also allow travelers to take their food with them. Low cost airlines also enable customers to rent less under premium brands. Many provide shuttle services including air-conditioned buses to take their customers up to the aircraft.
Although not all the frequent flyer benefits are available with LCC, some airways provide these benefits, so that customers can earn mileage and can easily redeem them. While most of the premium airlines focus on metro cities, LCC has also increased air connectivity for two-tier cities. LCC’s all-economy services include cities like Kochi, Coimbatore, Madurai, as well as major cities like Chennai, Bengaluru, Delhi and Hyderabad. In fact, this low-cost air services initiative is a new trend in the airline industry. Yet another advantage is that consumers can book their tickets online. They can compare the ticket rates and learn price differences to adapt their economic benefits. They can use secure online portals to book tickets, pay and print in minutes. Mobile ticketing options are an added feature because consumers can book their tickets and can check the flight status on this move.
According to Aviation Predictions, low cost carriers in India will take more than half of the domestic market. The budget air travel losses are few. For example, customers may have to compromise on some leg spaces because of reduced seats and luxury services. The LCC can not allow flexible transit between different airlines or carriers. However, the profits go beyond the loss, as LCCs are clear at the quick pace of securing stake in their market. In short, low-cost airlines provide quality service, reliable operation and standard services.