New Delhi, (IANS) National carrier Air India Monday said it would deploy wide-bodied aircraft between the metros to offer more seats and reduced fares to make up for the crippling effects of a 10-day pilots strike it has emerged from.
"Our plan is to increase ticket sales revenue and make up for the lost time we had to endure during the peak summer travel season," a senior Air India official with the operations arm told IANS.
According to the official, the airline would be able to offer lower fares on the domestic sector as it was going to deploy wide-bodied aircraft like the Boeing 747, thus increasing the seat-capacity per flight.
"Our large-bodied aircraft would be deployed on some metro routes that should allow us to offer greater seat-capacity and lower fares this season," the official said.
The airline also said its promotional offer had attracted a substantial number of passengers.
"It clearly indicates that our passengers have faith in our capability to offer attractive service at competitive fares," the official added.
The airline Sunday published advertisements in various national dailies thanking passengers for bearing with it during the strike and notified them of the new air fares on offer.
According to some aviation experts, the lower fares would not have any adverse effect on private airlines, as competitive fares were already being offered to passengers.
"It is capacity induction that should have been there from the beginning, but due to the strike was lost out. Demand is still high and everyone will get a share out of it," Ankur Bhatia, executive director of the Bird Group, a technology provider to the travel industry, told IANS.
On Monday, the airline said it was operating nearly 190 domestic flights or 70 percent of its total flight capacity and the number would eventually reach the designated daily schedule of 225.
"We are operating 190 flights today on our domestic routes, while on an average day our schedule is 225 flights per day. We are confident of resuming full normal operations in the next 36 hours."
The just-ended 10-day strike had forced the airline to cancel some 1,600 domestic flights, causing a revenue loss of Rs.140 crore.