The latest move may pivot frequent travelers from staying in hotels to flying even more
People carrying only their carry-on luggage may receive a special discount from airlines. People familiar with the development said that airlines are considering discounted fares for such passengers, according to a report by Mint.
The new policy may benefit 2 in 5 domestic travellers. Small businessmen and corporate executives travelling for short trips may benefit the most. The report said the latest move might pivot frequent travellers from staying in hotels to flying even more.
A senior executive at an online travel operator said that Indian airlines are analysing the market and trying to zero in on routes where such offers would make the most sense. He added that this service would primarily benefit those running micro, small, and medium enterprises, as published in the report.
Currently, the lowest airfares on domestic routes allow a cabin bag weighing up to 8 kg and check-in luggage weighing 15–25 kg. So far, no Indian carrier offers cabin luggage-only fares.
On the other hand, several foreign carriers follow this practice. The report added that Scoot, the low-cost subsidiary of Singapore Airlines, already offers zero baggage fares from India.
Speaking on the matter, India’s largest domestic airline, Indigo, said that it is considering fares along similar lines. The report quoted an Indigo spokesperson saying, “We will continue to evaluate our service offerings to offer options and flexibility to meet the evolving needs of our customers.”
In earlier attempts to attract more customers, airlines have tried to roll out special fares for their passengers. However, the national aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, rejected an attempt in 2017.
It is important to note that hand baggage-only fares are standard practice for several European and American airlines that offer the service for short-haul flights. Indian airlines are also planning to incorporate a similar arrangement as it helps save fuel and vacate cargo space, which can be used to generate additional revenue, the report said.