To lay your hands on cheap air tickets, you might have tried doing a number of things such as making internet searches on airlines and agencies to find which is offering the lowest fares, negotiating with them and even using the tactical maneuvers of making the advance bookings or waiting till the last minute for getting the best deals. These are some of the efforts at the end of the customer. However, on the side of the airline, there are a number of other considerations which help it provide cheap air tickets to the customers. These considerations could be related to total operational efficiency of the airline. Length of the flight and the routes which a flight will follow also affects the pricing of the domestic and international flights.
The flight length, in terms of number of hours, is generally clubbed into three categories: short-haul, medium-haul and long-haul flights. Domestic flights are considered to be the ones which take up to 1.5 hour duration. But, this is flexible because some large countries have destinations which are reached in more hours. The short-haul flights are usually understood to be less than 3 hours of duration. The medium hauls flights are generally assumed to be of 3 to 6 hours of duration. The flights of more than 6 hours duration are referred to as the long-haul flights.
The LCCs such as the Indigo Airlines of India or any other usually have their business model developed around the domestic and short haul flights, but these might even venture into the medium haul flights sectors as well. So, the length of flight could be a basis for defining a completely different and niche business segment for the low-cost airlines. Besides the length of the route, the air way of the flight is another important factor which affects the time of the flight as well as the price of the air-tickets.
This point can be made clearer with the example of the operation of long-haul flights. These intercontinental flights usually take the great circle route from above the polar region since it is the shortest way for the flight operation from many destinations located at higher latitudes. By taking this route, the airlines reduce the fuel consumption and the savings can be passed on to the customers in the form of cheap international flights. The advantage is also taken of the unidirectional high speed winds flowing in the upper atmosphere, called the jet streams, which helps the aircraft to save on fuel consumption by flying in the direction of the wind. This also results in offering of the cheap air tickets to the customers.
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