New style of air travel promotion

New Delhi, August 28:

Indian Railways must be very sporting indeed. Or, perhaps, the 150-year-old network, one of the largest in the world, is in desperate need of money. Which is probably why its web site featured an advertisement of a budget airline for several weeks. The Spicejet banner told Netizens browsing the railways’ web site to ‘forget about long train journeys’. Imagine the dilemma of a prospective passenger who visits Indian Railways’ homepage for online reservations only to be lured away by cheap airfare and shorter journeys!

For the railways, it was a double whammy since no-frills carriers have been giving it a run for its money by offering tariffs that is comparable to, and sometimes even lower, than train fares. And to offer its own web site to be derailed by competition must have been a painful thought. But as it turns out, the hosting of Spicejet advertising banner was, indeed, a gaffe on the part of some officials. When the railway ministry top brass was told about it, the advertisement made a mysterious disappearing act.