aviation

Airfares soar sky high after booking begins

August 26, 2021

Fares between Oman and South Asian countries went sky high after airlines started bookings for September.

A one-way Oman Air ticket from Kochi to Muscat now costs RO 340 while Thiruvananthapuram-Muscat seat sells for RO 260 for the first week of September.

The budget carrier Salam Air has offers in the range of RO 260-290 for Kozhikode-Muscat fight.

The fares to Bangladesh capital Dhaka is now around RO 250 on US Bangla and about RO 260 on Biman Bangladesh.

'These fares are a hard blow to the ordinary people who wish to travel after such a long break,' Malaika, an expat graduate student of Architecture in Mangalore, told the Observer.

Experts in airline industry said the sudden spike in the airfares is due to a strong expectation that there would be regular services between Oman and some countries.

'Airline business these days are operating under tremendous challenges and we don’t have full scheduled departures. On the other hand, what we have are flights operating under bubble agreement between countries. Based on supply and demand prices are high,' said Sunil D'Souza, CEO, Travel City Group. 'Once regular international schedules are in place, then you would have better airfares.'

On an average, Air India Express fares from Kochi is RO 250; Trivandrum RO 250, and Kannur RO 160 during the first week of September.

'Airline fares are based on the law of demand and supply. If people don't make a rush for it, prices will be normal. If they allow airlines like Salam Air, Indigo and GoAir to operate, then prices will come down,' says Ejaz Kazi, GM, Easy Travel and Tours.

Airline executives said the fare spike is also due to the stoppage of flights by some budget airlines since last year.

'More airlines registered in Oman who have the traffic rights should be allowed to operate when the travel is open. That way, fares can be controlled to a great extent,' said an Indigo official.

'Air bubble agreement between Oman and India should be renegotiated with more capacity as well as more airline operators. We as GoFirst have already contacted the DGCA India to permit the schedule operators to resume operations to facilitate the influx of traffic and this would help to control the airfares in a more consistent manner,' Venkat Perumal, representative of GoAir, said.

omanobserver

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