Exclusive Aviation Survey (Part 5)

Low fares – do they stimulate new travel markets?

A mere 9% of the Low Cost Carrier (LCC) passengers (and 5%

of the Full Service Carrier (FSC) passengers) surveyed were travelling

for the first time.

This proportion is remarkably similar to first time flyers in developed and affluent markets like Australia. These figures correlate with the finding that over half of the LCC travellers would have made the journey even if the fare had been double, and that only 5% would not have made the journey at all.

It would seem therefore that there is still significantly more potential for cheap fares to stimulate the market in India in terms of new travellers. The impact so far appears to have been on encouraging existing flyers to travel more frequently. However, our findings suggest that low fares are having some impact in diverting rail travellers, as nearly 44% of LCC passengers stated that had the fare been double, they would still have made the journey by train.

Our findings highlight differences between current trends in India, and the experience of developed aviation markets, where significantly lower prices have initially been able to encourage substantially larger numbers of first time flyers.

The responses suggest that the LCC revolution has still not spread to the Indian mass market, which should result in double digit growth for several years to come.

Next Week: Taxes and transparency – a consumer perspective.