Air fares to key destinations mainly in the subcontinent are set to rise as many residents prepare to fly out during their summer break from early July.
Travel industry sources said the air fares will increase sharply to certain sectors, and in some cases nearly double, as most schools, colleges and other educational institutions in Qatar have been scheduled to close for summer holidays by July first week.
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 (non-stop service) in the south Indian state of Kerala will be in excess of QR5,000 for outbound travel on July 5 and inbound on August 31.
Until a few days ago, it was available for nearly QR2,200, an industry source said.
Similarly, for Kochi in south India, economy class passengers will have to cough up nearly QR5,000 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 QR3,685.
Islamabad tickets in economy class have been priced in excess of QR3,700 during this time frame.
Manila passengers will have to budget nearly QR5,900 for economy class travel during the period.
And to Sydney in Australia, the economy fare is close to QR10,000 for outbound travel on July 5 and inbound on August 31.
Industry sources said fares to Europe and the US will also go up during the peak summer travel season.
Economy class seats for London in the UK will be priced more than QR5,600 for outbound travel on July 5 and inbound on August 31.
The fare to Paris, which is another favourite holiday destination for residents, has been quoted in excess of QR5,800 during this time frame.
The return economy class fares to New York in the US have been quoted at around QR7,200 during this time frame.
And to Chicago, another popular US destination, the economy class fare for a non-stop service is priced around 6,800 during this time frame.
Visa-free arrival service provided by Qatar to citizens of more than 80 countries has many takers, sources said. Citizens of these countries will not need to apply or pay for a visa; instead, a multi-entry waiver will be issued at the airport, upon presentation of a valid passport (valid for a minimum of six months) and a confirmed onward or return ticket.
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 during the summer vacation.
Until July 9, Qatar Airways passengers will be able to check in four to 12 prior to departure, subject to certain terms, the airline has said in an SMS message. Such passengers can utilise Row 11 at Hamad International Airport to avail of this service, the airline said.
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 last year as these countries had imposed land, sea and air blockade on Qatar.