Air India has taken a number of measures, including offering passengers low fares for the last minute travel, to enhance its market share, the government said on Thursday.
Joining Star Alliance and progressive induction of the fuel-efficient B787-800 planes are also part of the various steps that the national carrier has taken in this regard, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said in a written reply in Lok Sabha.
To increase the market share, steps such as progressive induction of B787 aircraft on international routes, joining Star Alliance, induction of brand new aircraft on several domestic and international routes to increase passenger appeal, improved in-flight services and spot fare to tap last minute passengers by utilising the vacant seats, have been taken by Air India, Sinha said.
Air India cornered an average 15.38 per cent of the total domestic traffic in last six months, according to a DGCA data released last month.
Budget carrier IndiGo is the largest airline by domestic market share, which stood at 37.9 per cent in June. It was followed by Jet Airways, which along with JetLite, ferried 19 per cent of the passengers, while Air India stood at third.
Significantly, going against private airline’s practice of charging exorbitantly high fares for the last minute travel, Air India last month decided to offer fares equivalent to the AC-II class ticket prices of Rajdhani trains for 11 key destinations for such travel, forcing other carriers such as Jet Airways and Vistara to rework their ticket pricing strategy.
Replying to another query, Sinha said the total expenses incurred by the state-run carrier towards compensation for cancelled or delayed flights stood at Rs 216.61 crore in the last three fiscals.
These expenses were towards hotel accommodation, catering and transport service, the minister said.