Air fares drop for Gulf flyers as oil prices drop

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Air fares drop for Gulf flyers as oil prices drop

Air fares have seen a sudden plunge recently, especially to destinations in the subcontinent, as the peak season ended in late July, triggering stiff competition among the carriers.

The current fare to Kochi, for instance, as of yesterday was QR 1,130 as compared to QR 2,790 previously, while Mumbai fares dropped drastically to QR 990 from QR 2,410 for economy class, on flights from Doha.

Besides, a round trip to Manila with ‘economy super value ticket’ now costs QR3,000, while flying to Dhaka would cost QR1,190 compared to QR1,690 and a trip to Karachi is now QR810 against QR990 previously.

“The air fare war was started by Jet Airways,” said Chetan Punjani, General Manager, Continental Tourism. “Qatar Airways responded by cutting their fares. Emirates and other carriers followed suit. The air fares have been cut since it is low season for passenger traffic. In my opinion, this move is hurting various carriers. For instance, if an airline was carrying 100 passengers for ‘x’ fare, now they would be carrying the same number of passengers for lesser fare.”

Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) national carrier Emirates airline has announced reduction in fares to 20 cities in the Middle East, Gulf, Far East and Europe, IANS reports from Dubai.

Lower fares are being implemented on more than 30 flights to destinations in Europe, Far East and the Middle East including Manila, Dhaka, Jakarta, London Gatwick, and China, according to an Emirates statement.

The airline's move comes in the wake of recent softening of oil prices.

"We are glad to be able to revise some of our fares with the recent lowering of fuel prices," Adnan Kazim, the airline's senior vice-president said in the statement. "Although fuel prices have fallen gradually in recent weeks, it is still some 60 percent above the average price per barrel in 2007," he said.

He, however, added that high fuel prices continued to be a big challenge for Emirates, and that the airline was monitoring the situation closely.

Emirates fares from Dubai to Cairo, Beirut, Damascus and Amman will go down by four percent.

The Pen