Airlines are slashing ticket prices to attract travellers in a lean season

Airlines are offering special and promotional fares to some European and Asian destinations. Low fares for passengers from Muscat to all gateway points in their home countries are also being offerd.

If you want to get 60 to 70 per cent discount for flying to some European destination, then book your ticket now as a large number of airlines have slashed their air fares to woo customers during the lean season.

Leading the race is Istanbul-based Turkish Airlines, which is offering special fares for key European destinations like Munich, Athens, Venice and Madrid where return fares start from as low as 89 Omani Riyal.

"The fare to Munich from Muscat always hovers around OMR300 all around the year, so it is straight 70 per cent cheaper," said a travel agent who sells tickets of Turkish Airlines. The special offer of Turkish Airlines is all inclusive (all taxes, fees and surcharges) and subject to availability (due to limited seat capacity), which makes the deal even sweeter. The catch here is that the outbound travel should be completed by May 31 and the tickets should be purchased by March 23. Not just for European destinations, air ticket prices have been slashed form several Asian countries as well.

"Air fares to several Asian destinations from Muscat are down by 30 to 40 per cent because of the low occupancy rates on most of the flights," said Sri Lankan Airlines manager, Oman, Lakshman Weerasooriya. Air India, the national carrier of India, is also offering promotional fares for passengers originating from Muscat to all gateway points in India.

The airline has also launched special add-on fares on domestic sectors. Passengers can now fly to Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore, and by paying as low as OMR10 extra, for one way and OMR20 extra for return travel to onward domestic destinations like Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, Cochin, Goa, Jaipur, Lucknow, Pune, Udaipur, Trivandrum, Vizag, Calicut, Mangalore and Madurai, says Amaresh Choudhary, the country manager for Air India – Muscat. Similarly, passengers travelling to Mumbai on the above special promotional fare can also travel to Bhopal, Jaipur, Nagpur, Rajkot and Indore over Mumbai by paying additional OMR12 for one way and OMR24 for return.

"The traffic is less during this time of the year. Therefore, we are offering special airfares to our much valued customers," he added. However, booking early is the key as there are only few seats available in every flight. "In some flights, there are only four tickets available for these fares. So passengers should book early to avoid disappointment," a travel agent said.

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