Tuesday, December 23, 2014

GoAir puts 17 lakh seats on sale, server crashes

The airline announced a flash sale of 17 lakh seats, starting at Rs.1,469
The airline announced a flash sale of 17 lakh seats, starting at Rs.1,469

GoAir’s website on Monday remained inaccessible for hours as the server seemed to have crashed as thousands of low fare seekers scrambled to book cheap tickets.

The airline on Sunday announced a flash sale of 17 lakh seats, starting at Rs.1,469 across its network to stimulate demand in the lean season of January to March. The five-day sale will continue till December 25, 2014. The validity of travel under this scheme is between January 1 and March 31, 2015, the airline said.

The airline’s website witnessed heavy traffic in the morning giving rise to problem. However, it became accessible towards noon.

“We have been witnessing 44 times increase in hits on our website. This has undoubtedly created a significant slowdown in the website, and we have already increased the bandwidth,” said a GoAir spokesperson

“Overall, in the first day of the promotion, we have recorded an increase in booking for the fourth quarter of the year by almost 20 per cent. We are presently working to improve further the performances of our website,” the spokesperson added.

According to analysts, GoAir’s offer would help it clear unsold inventory.

“Normally, the January-March period is a lean season, and people, other than business travellers, do not fly due to year-end obligations and children’s education. 

“GoAir’s offer will stimulate demand,” said Vinay Gupta, CEO, TripFactory.com, a Bengaluru-based holiday booking firm.

“We do not know whether people are actually booking or checking for low fares,” said Anup Kanuga, Director, Bhatija Travels.

“I could not find any low fare in the Mumbai-Patna sector. One way GoAir lowest fare in January third week is Rs.8,000. I am disappointed. The low fares are only applicable in trunk routes,” said a city based company executive. Meanwhile, airfares are still ruling high even though SpiceJet has stabilised its curtailed operations. 

According to travel agents, the domestic air fares are still 20-40 per cent higher as people are yet to gain confidence on SpiceJet.

“There has been no immediate relief. People are hesitant to fly by SpiceJet as uncertainty still persists. Sectors such as Bengaluru and Coimbatore are worst affected. Overall fares are 20 to 30 per cent higher,” said Mr. Kanuga.

“Airfares have reduced (from 100 per cent premium) but are still 30 to 40 per cent higher than before,” said Sharat Dhall, President, Yatra.com.

“Airlines have formed a cartel to jack up prices. There is no limit to fares in last minute booking. There must be an upper limit of Rs.10,000 in the economy class in the longest serving domestic route. Fares have not come down despite SpiceJet’s stabilised operations because people are still worried about its future,” said Subhash Goyal, Chairman, STIC Travels Group.

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