Muscat: For outbound travellers from Muscat during summer or Eid al Fitr holidays, airfares have increased by leaps and bounds from previous years. According to the travel industry sources, there are multiple factors such as fuel prices, peak demand and lack of competition in some sectors for the surge in prices this year.
“Several airlines are facing survival challenges, which have forced them to scale down their operations in some sectors. Fewer options due to limited competition will naturally see the airfares shooting up with peak demand,” said senior official of an Oman-based airline.
He said travellers still have a chance provided they keep a regular tab on the airfare movements. “There is always this possibility of last minute discounts especially during the holy month of Ramadhan.”
Non-stop one-way economy fares to Bangkok from Muscat at the start of the Eid al Fitr holidays begin from RO 150 while one-stop options for the same sector start from RO 115.
Direct flights to Colombo in Sri Lanka cost RO 109, while one-stop fares begin from RO 72.
For Turkey, fares for direct flights cost RO 160 while one-stop fares drop to RO 140.
For Baku in Azerbaijan and Tbilisi, popular destinations in East Europe, fares start between RO 90 and RO 100, which could drop with the launch of direct seasonal flights from Muscat during that period.
For London, fares for direct flights start from RO 250 while one-stop flights give options from RO 150.
For Kenya, fares start from around RO 100 for both direct and one-stop options. For expatriates travelling to India on annual vacations, tickets have hit the roof with several airlines cutting down or cancelling services due to operational reasons.
“Two major Indian carriers, Jet Airways and Indigo, cancelled some of their services from Muscat recently.
“This led several passengers who booked their tickets in advance to look for alternatives at higher prices,” said Mohammed Sarif, a travel agency executive who has been attending to several cancellations and change of flights on the Indian sector.
One-way fares to Kochi in the South Indian state of Kerala start from RO 100.Tickets for Mumbai start from RO 80, Delhi RO 70, Bangalore RO 180 for direct and RO 100 for one-stop flights, Chennai RO 158, Hyderabad RO 100, Thiruvananthapuram RO 86 and Kozhikode RO 104, as per the Observer research.
For Karachi and Lahore in Pakistan, fares start from RO 49 and RO 80, respectively.
For Dhaka, fares start from RO 73.