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International airlines woo Indian globetrotters

by January 19, 2018 General

NEW DELHI: The world is on sale with leading airlines launching discounts to lure the Indian globetrotter. The offers range from return fares starting at about Rs 10,000 for the Gulf; Rs 16,000 for southeast Asia; Rs 33,000 for Europe and Rs 55,000 for North America. International fares up to 30% lower than normal ones are currently being offered by several big Indian and foreign airlines on these popular routes.

Different airlines have their sale for varying periods and specify the dates by which travel on discounted tickets must be completed. The sale on international fares by global biggies comes just after Indian carriers had offered low advance fares on their domestic and international routes for the coming lean travel season in a bid to fill up their planes then.

Jet Airways is offering up to 20% on its flights to destinations like Paris, Amsterdam and Vienna. Turkish Airlines is offering 15% discount on its all domestic and international flights to passengers who download the latest version of the carrier’ mobile app and book on that. Gulf carriers, which are now no longer the cheapest option for Indian globetrotters, have also lowered their fares for a limited time. The big three — Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways — are leading the fight for Indian traffic through low fares.

“All-inclusive economy class fares from Delhi start at Rs 13,600 for destinations in the Middle East, at Rs 34,800 for Europe and Rs 57,400 for USA. Business class fares from Delhi start at Rs 68,200 for the Middle East, Rs 102,400 for Europe, and Rs 184,050 for USA. Travellers will be able to plan their travel until November 30 2018,” Dubai-based Emirates said in a statement.

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad is also giving some serious discounts. It is offering return economy from Delhi to Paris and Los Angeles starting at Rs 38,361 and Rs 54,932, respectively. Qatar Airways’ sales got over on earlier this week under which it had economy return fares starting at Rs 35,000 to London and Rs 54,000 to New York. “The normal price from Mumbai to London return in economy class is priced at Rs 48,000 and Mumbai to New York is Rs 67,000,” the Doha-based airline said.

European airlines are also aggressively countering the attempts by Gulf carriers to get a lion’s share of traffic to and from India. British Airways has a sale on till the month-end under which return fares from India to London start at Rs 40,206 and it is also giving discounts on many of its connecting flights from there. “Flying to Europe, North & South America just got easier. New rules introduced by the UK mean visitors can transit through London without a visa,” the BA site says.

Amsterdam-based KLM says it is giving “dream deals” that must be booked by January 31 and for travel before September 30. Under this, the return fares from Delhi to places like Barcelona and Milan start at Rs 33,500; and New York and Toronto are just under Rs 60,000.

Among southeast Asian carriers, Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Malaysian are also luring the Indian flyer with attractive fares. SIA is offering return fares from Delhi to San Francisco starting at Rs 58,300 and Delhi-Singapore from Rs 18,700.

While airlines may be giving a reason to the Indian globetrotter to travel the world, the falling rupee will make the dream trip more expensive as all other costs — except airfare — will cost more due to the unfavorable US Dollar-Rupee exchange rate.