THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the Onam season falling in August, the air fares to Gulf countries are witnessing an unprecedented hike this year.
According to sources in the travel sector, the Onam season is coinciding with the reopening of schools in Gulf countries this year.
Hence there is a heavy rush towards the end of this month. Almost all seats in the Kerala-Gulf sector for the next couple of weeks are also sold out already and the fares for the minimum one-way fare for the remaining seats have already crossed Rs 40,000.
To sectors like Riyadh, the minimum available one-way fares for the next few days is above Rs 80,000. Schools in Gulf countries reopen after vacations by September 1.
Usually Onam falls in the middle of September. Hence the rush in Thiruvananthapuram-Gulf sectors used to get distributed.
“Compared to the previous years, the fares are high this year as Onam and school reopening coincides. Almost all seats to all Gulf sectors during September 29 to 31 are already sold out,” said city based travel agent K.V. Muraleedharan.
He also cited that the minimum fare available to Riyadh for the next few days is Rs 80,490, that too in a budget carrier.
During the last year, the highest tariff was around Rs 70,000. Another city-based travel agent Victor Fernandez said that the government was not seriously considering the issue.
“The government should take steps to allow more seats in the sector,” he said.
Meanwhile, sources in the state government alleged that many airlines were hand in glove in raising fares....