To draw flyers, Vistara offers multiple fare options

Fares categorised into four to ‘pay for what you value’

Planning to fly economy class on Vistara? You can now avail lower fares on a par with budget airlines by opting out of the complimentary meal offered by the full-service carrier.

The offering is part of ‘Vistara Freedom Fares’ initiative, unveiled on Tuesday, providing passengers a host of fare options where you pay for what you value. Fares have been divided into four categories across economy, premium economy and business classes — Lite, Value, Standard and Flexi.

The airline said in a statement that the move followed consumer feedback. The carrier would also allow flyers access to pre-loaded entertainment content on their phones, tablets and laptops. The service would be rolled out across its fleet of 21 planes in August.

“Depending on the length of flight and the time of the day, the difference between Economy Lite and Flexi could be as wide as ₹500-₹1,500, but at the lower end it could be a couple of hundred rupees. We have no problem in filling our seats, we want to serve our customers in line with what they value,” Vistara’s chief strategy and commercial officer Sanjiv Kapoor told The Hindu in a telephonic interview.

While the airline is expected to announce its international operations soon, Mr. Kapoor clarified that the latest fare options are only for its domestic network.

The move comes at a time when airlines are looking at ways to increase their earnings amid increasing fuel charges making it difficult for them to offer competitive fares. In May, IndiGo had announced a fuel surcharge of ₹200 to ₹400 due to the rise in the cost of aviation turbine fuel.

IndiGo also registered 96.6% fall in its profit in the Q1 of this fiscal as compared to the year earlier period due to adverse impact of forex and high fuel prices.

“Lite” fares will be available only to economy class passengers, who can avail lower fares, which will not include complimentary meals. However a buy-on-board option of snacks and drinks will be available. Customers will be allowed to check-in one baggage upto 15kg for free. All other categories of fares, including those for economy class, include complimentary meals. The Tata Sons- Singapore joint venture airline offers three cabin class configuration – economy, premium economy and business class.

These fares come into effect from Aug 2, barring Economy Lite which will be available from August 29, the Tata Sons-Singapore Airlines joint venture said in a press statement.

“Value” fares are available in premium economy and business class and allow changes and cancellations with a fee.

The type of fares to follow next is “Standard” fares, which are available in all three classes and are an add-on to “lite” and “value” fares. These provide additional baggage allowance and lower change and cancellation fees.

“Flexi” fares, also available in all classes, offer free change and cancellations, additional free baggage allowance and priority check-in, baggage handling, and boarding.

“Consumers today have a vast range of options and the one-size-fits all approach is increasingly becoming redundant. It is the age of flexibility; of deciding for yourself; of doing things at your own terms. We observed this consumer behaviour over a period of time and are delighted to bring ‘Vistara Freedom Fares’ to the discerning travellers,” according to the airline’s CEO, Leslie Thng, in a press statement.

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