Low-cost carriers not ruffled by rail fare cuts

The introduction of dynamic pricing for passenger fares for the first time by railway minister Lalu Prasad may have been aimed at competing with low-cost airlines, but the carriers are in no mood to accept the challenge and bring down the prices further. Low-cost airlines maintain that their fares for most of the sectors are still below the railways’ AC first-class and AC two-tier rates.

Rather than announcing an across-the-board cut in passenger fares, Prasad has brought in a dynamic pricing model, offering fare cuts according to peak and off-peak seasons. According to the proposal, there will be a 3% reduction in AC first-class fares for the peak season. For the non-peak season, it will be a 6% cut. For AC 2-tier, the peak and non-peak season reduction will be of 2% and 4%, respectively. AC 3-tier (new coaches) saw the maximum cut in fares with peak and non-peak season reductions of 4% and 8%, respectively.

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