With only a few days left for Eid Al Fitr holidays, airline ticket prices have skyrocketed.
Holidaymakers who have waited until the last minute to book flights for the Eid break will probably end up paying more than 200 to 300 per cent for their ticket, according to travel agents in the Sultanate.
Citing example of the high air fares, a travel agent said a return ticket to Trivandrum costs around RO 120 on a normal day, but if you want to fly on June 22 and return on July 1, you have to pay around RO 307.
“One of the reason why it is so high is because the Eid holidays coincide with the school vacations and most of the parents prefer going for their annual leave during this time,” said Arun Aravind, Retail Sales and Operations Manager at Fahad Express.
Some airlines operating on the Muscat-Lahore sector have also increased their fares. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), which was selling a Muscat-Lahore ticket for RO 130 on a normal day has also levelled off the fare at RO 170. “There is a minimal increase in ticket fares to Pakistan which is normal during this month,” Arun said.
“I travelled to Kochi last month and the ticket price was only RO 120 and now it is touching RO 300 for the same sector. I even checked the connecting flights via Dubai and that is expensive too,” said Rajesh, an Indian expat who is working in Muscat. Rajesh is among the scores of expats planning to travel with their families to celebrate Eid back home, but may have to postpone their plans because of the steep hike in fares.
According to Arun, besides the regular destinations, there is a huge demand for Georgia this time. “There is an overwhelming response to Georgia. We at Fahad Express has got special packages to Georgia. We are offering a four-night stay which includes a return flight ticket, hotel stay and food for RO 296,” Arun explained.
For Bangkok, a popular destination from Oman, direct flights will start from RO 260 (return fare), while one-stop flights will be anywhere between RO 190 and RO 250.
“Dubai and Thailand remains a favourite destination for holidaymakers but most of them are also preferring destinations like Georgia which is good,” Arun added.