The early announcement of the unified summer holidays for schools this year could lead to a huge rush for air tickets, say industry sources.
The Supreme Education Council (SEC) on Monday announced the unified holiday schedule for the all the Idependent and private schools in Qatar. Accordingly, the summer holidays will be from June 26 to September 9.
The SEC has allowed some community schools to follow a different holiday schedule, but the school sources say that the exemption is only in the case of winter holidays.
In line with the SEC schedule, several private schools have already started announcing their summer holidays.
“We have scheduled our holidays from June 26 to September 9 as per SEC instructions and we have already issued circular to the students,” said an official of an Indian school.
He said most other expatriate schools are also expected to follow a similar schedule.
This will be the first time most of the schools will be closing for the summer holidays on the same date. Thousands of expatriate families will be heading home during summer and the unified holidays could cause a huge rush for tickets as well as crowding at the airports.
“We have made an early announcement because families travelling home during summer can book the tickets well in advance. There is likely to be a huge rush and as far as we know, seats to several Indian destinations are almost full on June 26 and the following days,” he said.
The official said there was a similar experience some years ago when the summer holidays fell on more or less similar dates.
“At that time we received calls from the airport asking families to drop their baggage two or three days before their departure to control the crowding,” he said.
Enquiries with the travel industry revealed that many airlines companies have already jacked up their fares ahead of the summer holidays.
For instance, very few seats are available in the low fare category to some Indian destination. During the last week of June, a return ticket to Kozhikode and Kochi, two major destinations in the southern Indian state of Kerala, cost more than QR3,000 while the normal fares will be around QR2,000.
“Even at this high rate seats are not available in some flights while others have very few vacancies,” said a travel agent.
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