Air fares are set to rise for key destinations mainly in the subcontinent as many residents prepare to fly out during their summer break from June-end.
Travel industry sources said the air fares will more than double to certain sectors by June-end as most schools, colleges and other educational institutions in Qatar have been scheduled to close for summer holidays by June 22.
The peak summer travel season normally starts in the last week of June and extends until September, depending on the Eid holidays’ schedule.
Travellers to certain destinations will have to open their wallets wide this summer, inquiries reveal.
For example, a return economy class fare to Thiruvananthapuram in the south Indian state of Kerala will be nearly QR5,000 for outbound travel on June 25 and inbound on September 1.
Until a few days ago, it was available for half this price, an industry source said.
Similarly, for Kochi in south India, economy class passengers will have to cough up nearly QR5,100 during the same time frame.
To fly direct to Colombo in Sri Lanka and back during the period, economy class passengers will have to pay in excess of QR3,000.
Karachi tickets in economy class have been priced in excess of QR1,750 during this time frame.
Industry sources, however, said fares to Europe and the US have not gone up this year due to the current situation across the GCC region.
Economy class seats are available for London in the UK for fares starting from QR3,800 for outbound travel on June 25 and inbound on September 1.
Paris, which is another favourite holiday destination for residents, is now available for nearly QR3,200 (return fare) in economy class.
The return economy class fares to New York in the US have been quoted at around QR4,800 during this time frame.
Many frequent flyers have benefited from an online promotion of discounted tickets, launched to these destinations by the national carrier, Qatar Airways, a travel agent said.
Also, there have been many takers for the ‘+Qatar Stopover’ package launched by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) and Qatar Airways, inquiries reveal.
The +Qatar Stopover Package offers transiting passengers a free night’s stay in a 5-star or 4-star hotel in Doha, including a free, 96-hour transit visa.
Many long-haul passengers have clearly seen an incentive in the promotion and availed of the free transit facility to enjoy Qatar’s various touristic attractions.
Qatar’s gateway to the world, Hamad International Airport (HIA), has already geared up for a surge in passengers in the coming days as many of the country’s residents prepare to travel in connection with Eid al-Fitr and summer vacation.
Until June 28, Qatar Airways passengers will be able to check in 12 hours to four hours prior to departure, subject to certain terms, the airline has said in an SMS message.
This will help passengers avoid rush during the period, the national airline said.
Flights to and from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt have been suspended since June 5 as these countries had imposed land, sea and air blockade on Qatar.
Return economy class fare to Thiruvananthapuram will be nearly QR5,000 for outbound travel on June 25 and inbound on September 1
For Kochi, economy class passengers will have to cough up nearly QR5,100 for round trip.
Economy class passengers to Colombo will have to pay in excess of QR3,000.
Karachi tickets in economy class have been priced in excess of QR1,750