The First Bullet Train Project may not be Good for Airlines. Here’s Why!

The standard-class fare between Ahmedabad and Mumbai on India’s first high-speed train is estimated to be between Rs. 250 and Rs. 3000, depending on the stoppage. There can be more discounts, as the National High Speed Rail Corporation (NHSRC) will conduct several “marketing” initiatives on the fares.

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Truth be told, the high-speed rail (HSR) fares won’t be subsidised, unlike the fares on regular trains, but the expected standard-class fare for this journey is sure to give airlines a run for their money. Whether it will all work out in the end or not is another story, but for now, it looks to be a boon for the passengers.

NHSRC Managing Director, Achal Khare listed three reasons that would make this train journey more popular than a flight –

  1. Train Frequency – Every 20-30 minutes every day > Flight Frequency – Only 4-5 every day
  2. Train Commute – Numerous Station Stoppages > Flight Commute – No Stoppage
  3. Train Fare – Rs. 3000 > Flight Fare – Between Rs. 2575 and Rs. 11,794

“Airlines will face stiff competition from us. Historically, the airline business has plunged 50-60 per cent wherever high speed rail has started. As per the willingness-to-pay study and other factors, we expect a fare of Rs. 3,000 between Ahmedabad and Mumbai. Shorter distances will have lower fare slabs,” Khare also added.