Air travel in India has grown manifold over the past few decades. Since the liberalization policy in 1991, India had witnessed the growth of low-cost carriers to cater to tier-1 and tier-2 cities. However, owing to poor response some of the airlines ceased operations.
However, since the millenium, the low-cost aviation story was scripted yet again in the Indian skies. Air Deccan which was erstwhile operating chopper services and charter services, started off operations as a low-cost airline. It offered an APEX scheme or Advance Purchase Scheme to buy tickets much in advance at cheaper rates. The airline soon spread its wings across India catering to tier-2 and tier-3 cities. It operated on ATR aircraft which had a seating capacity of up to 70 persons.
Gradually over the past two decades in India, many full-service carriers sensed an opportunity in the low-cost carrier model. The airlines offered competitive prices through cheap tickets on certain travel conditions. The airlines also operated on major aircraft bodies like Airbus and Boeing which offered wide seating choices. Some of the airlines that operated on the low-cost models include Air Asia India, Jet Konnect, Go Air, Indigo Airlines, Tru Jet, etc. These airlines operated on the metro to non-metro routes offering connectivity to the places which had erstwhile connected only through roads and rail network.
Regional Connectivity Scheme or UDAN
The stakeholders in the Civil Aviation mooted the idea of Regional Connectivity Scheme or Udey Desh Ka Aam Nagarik or UDAN scheme. The scheme was introduced very recently to encourage connectivity to tier-2 and tier-3 cities with major metro cities. RCS or UDAN scheme was an instant hit giving a boost to the economy, trade, tourism, hospitality, healthcare, and travel industry.
The scheme became a popular trend amongst many passengers who ditched road and rail travel to reach the intended destinations on the same day through air travel. The scheme also paved way for the development of new regional airports and greenfield airports.
The development of these new greenfield airports for air travel further boosted the trade and economy at the regional level and gained an appreciation by the people from all walks of life including the business community and tourists.
Advantages of Low-Cost Airlines
The following are the advantages of flying low-cost airlines-
- Cheap Air Tickets
- No-Frills Airline
- Flexible option of Food and Beverages
- Flexibility to Pre-book Seats
- Quick Connectivity
- Save Time
Cheap Air Tickets
The concept of low-cost airlines implies the availability of cheaper tickets than full-service carriers. It provides an opportunity to travel at a competitively lesser ticket price than the actual full-cost ticket fare, however, taxes remain the same for both types of airline tickets.
The air tickets are usually made available much in advance through an online booking system on the airline's website. A passenger thus has the flexibility to book airline tickets through online booking mode
No Frills Airline
The low-cost airlines offer no-frills onboard to the passengers. With the exception of the basic ticket fare, food and entertainment are not offered to the passengers in a low-cost model.
As such the travel time usually entails a journey within a time span of 3 hours. The same is sufficient for a basic airline traveler whose main objective is to travel quickly.
Flexibility To Choose Food and Beverages
The low-cost airlines do not offer food and beverages with the ticket fare. They are otherwise included as an additional component subject to taxes. A passenger has an option to 'pre-book food and beverages while booking a low-cost airline ticket. Otherwise, the passengers have the option to pay for the food and beverages service while onboard the aircraft during the journey.
Flexibility to Pre-Book Seats
A low-cost airline usually comes with limited seat selection options. However, booking the tickets early will provide an advantage to the passengers to select the seat based on choice subject to availability.
Further, there is also an option to 'pre-select' the desired seat at the time of booking by paying additional fares as necessary, subject to availability.
A low-cost airline's primary aim is to provide quick connectivity to under-served and unserved airports. Therefore the journey time is usually less than three hours whereby the passenger has the benefit of connectivity to regional airports from major towns and cities. The low-cost airlines also have swift turnaround times as the same is utilizes to connect to other regional destinations apart from connecting the primary destination, subject to regional schedules availability.
A low-cost airline helps a passenger to not only save on costs but also save precious time. Low-cost airlines help the passengers in providing vital connectivity to regional destinations from major city airports while considering time as an essential factor. Some of the routes usually last for a journey time up to sixty minutes or up to ninety minutes. The same depends on the distance factor too which is considered while calculating the base ticket fares.
Travel in Low-cost Airline
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.