Sahara brings para-banking to airlines

New Delhi, Aug 30 | Updated: Aug 31 2006, 05:30am hrs
In a near-replication of the Sahara groups para-banking model, Sahara Airlines on Wednesday announced a scheme of unlimited flights in a year for a price equivalent to paying Rs 699 a day (for 365 days). Para-banking is the backbone of the groups business. It has over 61 million depositors served by 9.1 lakh staff in over 1,500 branches.

Saharas fly unlimited offer works out to a total payout of Rs 2,55,135 in 365 days. A customer will need to take at least 73 flights on the Delhi-Mumbai, 77 on Delhi-Kolkata and 88 flights on the Mumbai-Bangalore routes to be able to recoup the investment. But passengers will need to pay the airport taxes and the fuel surcharge for each flight they take. Bookings begin from August 31.

What spoils the party is that the offer is non-transferable and must be used by those with a passenger name record number issued against their names.

The scheme is also available for shorter durations of 90, 60 and 30 days. Under this scheme, passengers will have to shell out Rs 799, Rs 899 and Rs 999 a day, respectively.

For the 90-day scheme, which costs Rs 71,910, passengers will need to take 21 Delhi-Mumbai flights to recoup. For the 60-day scheme (Rs 53,940), it will be 16 Delhi-Mumbai flights and for the 30-day package (Rs 29,970), the number of flights between the same destinations will be 9.

These offers are valid for Air Saharas domestic route network in the economy class. For the business class, fares will be 15% higher than the base fare.

Passengers can fly on Air Saharas international routes by paying Rs 100 extra a day.