Muscat: For outbound travellers from Muscat planning summer or Eid al Fitr holidays, airline fares have increased by leaps and bounds from the previous years.
According to sources in the travel industry, there are multiple factors such as fuel prices, peak demand and lack of competition in some sectors for comparatively higher prices this year.
“Several airlines are facing economic 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 that travellers still have a chance provided they keep a regular tab on the airfare movements. “There is always this possibility of some last minute discounts especially during the holy month of Ramadhan.”
For expatriates travelling to India on annual vacations, tickets have already hit the roof with several airlines cutting down or cancelling services due to operations reasons. “Two major Indian carriers, Jet Airways and Indigo cancelled some of their services from the first quarter of this month. “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 several cancellations and change of flights on the Indian sector.
Price check: Non-stop one-way economy fares to Bangkok from Muscat at the start of the Eid al Fitr holidays ranges begin from RO 150 while one-stop options for the same sector start from RO115.
Direct flights to Colombo in Sri Lanka cost RO109, while one-stop fares begin from RO72. For Turkey, fares for direct flights cost RO160 while on one-stop tickets drop to RO140. For Baku in Azerbaijan and Tbilisi, popular destinations in East Europe, fares start between RO90 and RO100, which could drop with the launch of direct seasonal flights from Muscat during that period.
For London, fares for direct flights start from RO250 while one-stop flights give options from RO150. For Kenya fares start from around 100 for both direct and one-stop options.