By Staff Correspondent
Indian airlines are considering offering special discounted fares for passengers who travel with only their carry-on luggage, according to a few sources aware of the development. This initiative aims to benefit approximately 40% of domestic travellers in India, such as small business owners and corporate executives who frequently take short trips. The discounted fares are also expected to encourage more people to travel often and boost the airlines’ revenue.
While most Indian airlines currently offer the lowest airfares on domestic routes with a cabin bag weighing up to 8 kilograms and check-in luggage weighing between 15-25 kg, no Indian airline has yet introduced cabin baggage-only fares. IndiGo, India’s largest domestic airline, has expressed interest in the plan, saying they are “evaluating their service offerings to offer options and flexibility to meet the evolving needs of their customers.”
Foreign airlines such as Scoot, the low-cost subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, already offer baggage-free fares from India. However, in 2017, the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), rejected an earlier attempt to introduce special fares for passengers without check-in luggage. Nonetheless, after the Delhi High Court ruled in favour of airlines, they can now legally offer such fares.
According to analysts, if appropriately implemented, these new fares could change the way Indians travel, with one industry analyst predicting that the number of passengers travelling with only carry-on luggage could increase by 20-25% in the long run. The new fares are expected to help save fuel and generate ancillary revenue by vacating the cargo belly.
SpiceJet, Air India, Vistara, and GoFirst have not yet officially commented on their potential implementation plans. As Indian airlines explore ways to boost their revenue and attract more passengers, the new fares could potentially change the dynamics of the aviation sector in India