Reuters blog archive

from India Insight:

Fare wars over India: You win, airlines lose

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Reuters)

Indians like it cheap -- be it a car, a phone call or airfare. If that plane ticket is about 25 percent cheaper than a train ticket, you can imagine the rush to buy.

Airlines in India are doing just that. Jet Airways, until recently the biggest Indian carrier, offered 2 million tickets at nearly half price in a “goodwill gesture”. Its website crashed soon after, just as SpiceJet’s did when it offered a million tickets for just 2,013 rupees  last month. That led many to believe the offer was a hoax.

I was lucky to book a New Delhi-Guwahati return ticket for March, paying just 3,578 rupees compared to the 13,047 rupees I paid for a one-way ticket as recently as November, and 4,420 rupees for the cheapest round-trip ticket on the Rajdhani Express, India’s premier long-distance train.

No doubt reduced fares are excellent news for consumers. But does it make business sense?

from Photographers' Blog:

Standing room only

They've wrested food, free alcohol, and peanuts from you. They've made you pay for luggage and lavatories.

Just when you thought there was nothing left for the airlines to squeeze, comes Italian company Aviointeriors' new aircraft 'SkyRider' standing seat.

from UK News:

Time to renationalise the railways?

Britain's railway franchises have been branded "a mess" by a group of MPs, who call for major reforms including the nationalisation of the troubled East Coast mainline.

The Transport Select Committee has called for the East Coast, set to be taken off the hands of current operator National Express later this year after the company complained of heavy losses, to be kept under state ownership and used to compare against the performances of private companies.

from The Great Debate (India):

Has the Railway Budget met expectations?

Mamata Banerjee's railway budget for 2009-10 appeals to the common man. She has introduced cheaper tickets for the poor and kept passenger and freight tariffs unchanged, bringing cheer to the millions who use the world's largest rail network daily.

11Banerjee, who took over as the new railway minister, underscores the Congress party-led government's focus on "inclusive growth" after it was re-elected in May.