The coming festival season in December will be a great time for flyers to Southeast Asia as various low cost airlines are providing very cheap air fares to their passengers. The coming season of Christmas, New Year and Pongal holiday will bring a good time for various travelers. The competition among various international carriers has resulted in low air fares and increased number of seats. For instance Singapore based low cost airline Tiger Airways will increase from next month its Chennai-Singapore frequency - from seven flights a week to eleven weekly flights and is offering the best return fares from Chennai to Singapore, with the lowest fares ranging from Rs 4,125 to Rs 5,000 for travel in the last week of December.
Since tickets of Tiger Airways are booked online, therefore many are unfamiliar of this deal. The airline has a counter at Chennai airport to sell last minute tickets. Other low cost airliner, Air Asia, based in Malaysia, has started an aggressive marketing campaign to familiarize residents of Chennai region about airline, its services and fares. A spokesperson from Air Asia said that they were not going to start any flights from Chennai as they had recently launched their flights from Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram but the campaign was aimed at encouraging Chennaiites to travel to Trichy or Kochi to fly with them to Kuala Lumpur or Singapore.
India's national carrier, Air India, is also thriving to secure a strong position in this sector. It has decided to replace its full service flights by low cost Air India Express (AIE). AIE flights are now operated from Chennai to Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. An Air India official said that the Chennai-Kuala Lumpur service (IC 995) would be soon replaced either with Air India Express or an Air India flight. AI official added that the airline was working towards rationalizing the various routes as rules of the Star Alliance stated that an airline would operate only single-coded flights on international routes. M K Ajith Kumar, Hi Tours vice president, said that low air fare to south East Asia could result into Indian holiday destinations loosing their sheen as passengers would opt for Singapore and Malaysia.