Flydubai, Air Arabia and Qatar Airways cut fares

Enticing offers include Dh399 fare to Mumbai

It's time to take to the skies once again and beat those summer blues as Middle East carriers announce yet another sale season with discounted fares of up to 30 per cent.

Clearing the runway is local budget carrier flydubai, which is offering it ‘Pay Once, Fly Twice promotion’ that allows travellers to book a flight before September 8, 2012 to avail a special promotion whereby allowing them to jet off to one of 16 destinations, including Muscat, Oman or Colombo, Sri Lanka a second time and only pay the taxes on the additional trip.

Conditions are that the first flight must be booked for travel between September 16 and October 20, 2012, then on return, claim your second flight, jetting away between September 16 and October 20 or from November 4 to December 12.

Sharjah-based Air Arabia has opted for the traditional flightplan of slashing airfares, with a 48-hour sale, which commenced today, giving travellers deeply discounted fares of Dh333 for an all-inclusive one-way trip to Alexandria, Beirut or Amman, or a Dh399 fare to Mumbai, Delhi Goa and other Asian destinations.

Meanwhile, Doha’s Qatar Airways launched its three-day global sale at midnight today, offering discounted fares to more than 100 destinations.

The 72-hour marathon sale ends at 11.59pm on September 6 (local time in each market) and offers customers the opportunity to travel to a variety of destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas at very attractive fares.

The travel window here is over a six-month period between September 10 and March 13 next year.

Seats are limited and subject to availability Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “Whether travelling for leisure or business, the three-day sale provides customers the opportunity to visit popular destinations and discover newly-introduced routes available on our rapidly expanding network.”

However, several travellers are still wary of the sales, with Akashdeep Singh saying: “A lot of these sales have blackout periods, which limits our travel during the days the really count.

“I tried to book a roundtrip flight to Goa for the discounted fares with one of the airlines mentioned, but the fare hiked up to double of what is being quoted because it is during the peak Eid holidays in the last week of October.

“These sales are just methods to fill in empty seats during the off-peak travel dates.”

Michelle Caruso, who is attempting to book her return to New York for the Christmas holidays had a similar outlook, saying: “I saw the airfare on Qatar Airways to New York for Dh3,000 but when I go to book from December 20, the fare spikes to Dh2,830 one-way. That’s insane!”

Caruso may want to look at the Air France route, which is offering up to 20 per cent in discounted fares to Europe and North America for booking until September 15, and travel between September 1 and December 15.

Meanwhile, there are those who are also very excited with Bashir Khan, travelling Hyderabad next month saying: “I am paying Dh399 one-way. That’s the best fare a worker like me can afford.”

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