Qatar-India air-fares set to rise

September 30th, 2008 - 6:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, Sep 30 (IANS) Air-fares between Qatar and India, particularly to Kerala, are set to rise following a directive from Qatar’s civil aviation authority.The new directive has called upon airlines to restore normal off-season rates effective Oct 1, the Peninsula newspaper reported.

Fares on the sector fell by as much as 50 percent following an intense price war between different carriers.

“The new directive will have an immediate impact on the Indian sector, where the undercutting has been going on in full scale,” the report quoted a travel agency official in Doha as saying.

“Other sectors in the subcontinent will not be affected much because the tariffs remain almost the same as the normal fares,” he said.

A return ticket on the sector, particularly to Kerala, fell to 1,500 Qatari riyals ($412) in recent times.

There are around 420,000 expatriate Indians in Qatar and a large number of them hail from Kerala.

The advent of low cost carriers in the sector had also contributed to the fall in fares.

According to another official in a leading airline, the operators on the sector could not afford the situation for long.

“The capacity has increased by about 300 percent but the number of passengers has gone up only by 20 percent,” he told the newspaper.

He, however, added that the revised fares to destinations in Kerala would be cheaper by about QR150 ($41) on a one-way ticket as compared to normal off-season tariffs.

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