What revolutionized the scene of airlines in India was the introduction of low cost flights, namely Air Deccan that believed that by not including a business class and not offering meals on board, could help greatly reduce costs of operation, which translated in to bringing lower airfares to customers.
Less than 10 years ago, travelling by air in India was meant for only a select few because of the high prices of airfares offered by the airlines in India. In fact, an economy class ticket on a full service airline for travel from Delhi to Mumbai would cost as much as Rs. 20,000 one way, once upon a time. Today, it is a different story altogether with the changing face of the airline industry making travelling by air affordable for most people.
What revolutionized the scene of airlines in India was the introduction of low cost flights, namely Air Deccan that believed that by not including a business class and not offering meals on board, could help greatly reduce costs of operation, which translated in to bringing lower airfares to customers. Until Air Deccan launched, cheap flights in India were unheard of.
Soon, a long list of airlines in India was born, GoAir, SpiceJet and Indigo to name a few, all making themselves out to be offering low cost flights. Initially the going was good and cheap flights in India was a much awaited reality with airlines offering Rs. 0 airfares. People who normally traveled by train now had the choice to be able to fly. Everyone was happy. However, this great booming success was to be followed by uncertainty.
Airlines in India would see many ups and down. Over the past year and more so in recent months, with the price of oil soaring, prices of airfares gradually began to sky-rocket. Like the rest of the world, airlines in India have been forced to cut back on some flying some routes and reducing the frequency of flight to destinations to save costs and avoid going broke completely.
In spite of this, some airlines in India have taken a leap of faith and begun international operations; flying long routes like Delhi to New York, Mumbai to San Francisco and Delhi to London. Some of these flights are non-stop and direct and the in-flight services offered are at par with top class international carriers.
Let’s hope that cheap flights in India will hopefully return again and a wave of low cost flights should hit the market soon. Now that people are used to a variety of choice of airlines in India, the expectations will obviously only get higher with time.