Want to fly abroad? Now is the best time

Tuesday, 3 December 2013 - 11:41am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Foreign carriers follow domestic airlines, offer massive discounts to fliers.

With domestic airlines offering discounts for travel within the country, even international airlines have jumped onto the bandwagon, luring fliers with drastically slashed airfares.

Recently, Malaysia’s national carrier Malaysian Airlines led an advertisement blitzkrieg, offering special discounts to tourists who want to visit several attractions in Singapore and Malaysia at around Rs21,000 and Rs26,000, including the two-way air fare.

Indian national carrier Air India was not to be left behind, offering discounts to passengers bound for the US, UK, Europe and Australia. “On each ticket purchase for the route, the airline offers the companion to ride by just paying the taxes, fees and surcharges”, the airline’s website states.  

Airline officials said that the scheme is frequently brought into business by the airline during the peak season in order to attract more passengers. This time, the scheme is applicable for flying before March 31, 2014.

The low-cost Air Asia airlines, which will soon be starting its domestic operations in India in joint venture with Tata Sons and is known for offering tickets at dirt cheap prices, on Sunday ended its offer, which was on for a limited period.

“The fares offered were as low as Rs2,259 from Kochi to Kuala Lumpur, Rs2,704 from Chennai to Bangkok / Kuala Lumpur, Rs3,269 from Bangalore to Kuala Lumpur and Rs3,228 from Kolkata to Kuala Lumpur,” read a statement issued by the airlines.  

Iqbal Mulla, president of Travel Agents Association of India, said, “The recent discounts in airfares offered indicate that at times, if the passenger books much in advance, he/she can travel cheaper to foreign destinations than to the ones in India.”

India is fast emerging as one of the quickest increasing out-bound market in the world after China with number of outbound passengers set to increase from 15 million presently to over 50 million by 2020, as per a research done by Tourism Australia. Australia expects more than 3,00,000 Indian tourists to visit the country by 2020.

Families and travellers are already booking their flight tickets before the discount period ends. “ I have booked tickets for a short trip to Bangkok with my family. The discount was too tempting to refuse,” said Amey Nath, a developer from Juhu.

Scheme to set cash registers ringing
Recently, Malaysia’s national carrier Malaysian Airlines led an advertisement blitzkrieg, offering special discounts to tourists who want to visit several attractions in Singapore and Malaysia at around Rs21,000 and Rs26,000, including the two-way air fare. Officials sya the scheme is frequently brought into business during the peak season to attract more passengers.


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