Air India Express flight cancellations cause surge in airfares

Oman Monday 13/May/2024 07:20 AM
By: Times News Service
Air India Express flight cancellations cause surge in airfares

MUSCAT: The cancellation of Air India Express flights has sent airfares between India and Oman skyrocketing, leaving travellers in dismay.

Despite efforts to resume normal operations after cabin crew-related issues on Friday, Air India Express flights remained disrupted, with services from Mumbai to Muscat and Kannur to Muscat cancelled on Sunday, according to a travel agent.

While the airline managed to operate its Muscat-Kochi and Trivandrum-Muscat flights, the news of cancellations prompted a surge in ticket prices among other airlines, according to travel agents.

"Ticket prices to Kannur, which typically ranged from OMR 30 to OMR 40, spiked to around OMR 160, marking a staggering 400 percent increase," revealed a prominent travel agent based in Ruwi.

With Go Air ceasing operations on the Muscat-Kannur route, travellers now rely on airlines operating from Calicut, a significant distance (around 100km) away, further exacerbating the situation.

The impact extended beyond South India, with airfares from Mumbai to Muscat witnessing a drastic surge. A two-hour flight that typically cost around OMR 150 soared to unprecedented levels on Monday and Tuesday.

However, there may be a glimmer of hope for travellers, as starting May 24, one-way tickets from Mumbai to Muscat are expected to be priced below OMR 50.

Residents expressed frustration over the escalating prices, with some condemning airlines for exploiting the situation. "This is completely illegal," said Suresh Babu, a resident of Muttrah.

For others, the urgency to return to Oman due to impending visa expiration added financial strain. "I paid around OMR 200 for a one-way ticket," lamented an expatriate, highlighting the challenges faced by travellers amidst the flight disruptions.

As travellers grapple with soaring fares and uncertain flight schedules, there is a need for regulated pricing and proper scheduling in the India-Oman sector, an issue that remains a matter of concern for expatriates in Oman.