For­eign Travel is On Sale. Plan Your Hol­i­days Now

FEEDER HUB Global air­lines are out to woo In­dian trav­ellers with lu­cra­tive of­fers across classes dur­ing the peak sum­mer sea­son

The Economic Times - - Companies & Economy -

Anu­meha Chaturvedi & Mi­hir Mishra

New Delhi: In­dian trav­ellers have turned out to be the hottest bets for global car­ri­ers to jack up their sum­mer book­ings.

Car­ri­ers with mul­ti­ple con­nec­tions across Asia, Europe and the US, such as Emi­rates, Bri­tish Air­ways, Eti­had, Qatar Air­ways and Oman Air, have ze­roed in on In­dian trav­ellers with lu­cra­tive of­fers that are be­ing cited as the best ever in the busi­ness.

On­line travel agen­cies (OTAs) have seen about 15% spike in ad­vance book­ings for sum­mer travel to in­ter­na­tional des­ti­na­tions and they ex­pect more trav­ellers to lap up these early bird dis­counts.

“Most of the large Gulf car­ri­ers have mul­ti­ple con­nec­tions across Asia, Europe and the US and these fares are de­signed to at­tract cus­tomers who are plan­ning their sum­mer va­ca­tions well in ad­vance. These fares are at least 25% cheaper than the reg­u­lar fares,” said John Nair, head of busi­ness travel at Cox & Kings. “The sum­mer book­ings for 2019 have been en­cour­ag­ing.”

The Emi­rates of­fer, for in­stance, valid for over 159 des­ti­na­tions from Jan­uary 8-15 for travel be­tween Jan­uary 15 and No- vem­ber 30 is giv­ing re­turn trips to des­ti­na­tions like Mi­lan from In­dia for about ₹ 40,000, while a trip to Wash­ing­ton or New York could cost as lit­tle as ₹ 65,00075,000.

The Bri­tish Air­ways’ Jan­uary sale is now on with over 100 des­ti­na­tions on of­fer across its World Trav­eller (econ­omy), World Trav­eller Plus (premium econ­omy) and Club World (busi-

spike in ad­vance book­ings for sum­mer travel to in­ter­na­tional des­ti­na­tions, say on­line travel agents

ness) op­tions. Re­turn fares to Lon­don start from ₹ 43,779 and the sale runs un­til Jan­uary 31. For Qatar Air­ways, the pro­mo­tion is valid on all flights booked within Jan­uary 7-16, for travel be­tween Jan­uary 7 and De­cem­ber 31. Pas­sen­gers who book dur­ing the pro­mo­tion pe­riod can take ad­van­tage of a 25% dis­count on busi­ness-class fares and up to 35% cut on econ­omy-class fares.

“At Ya­tra.com, we fore­see these fig­ures to chart a steady in­crease with trav­ellers tak­ing ad­van­tage of these lu­cra­tive prices. The ma­jor des­ti­na­tions that peo­ple are look­ing to book are South East Asian coun­tries, Dubai, Viet­nam and Sri Lanka,” Sharat Dhall, COO (B2C) at Ya­tra.com, said.

Travel and ho­tel book­ing por- tal ix­igo is see­ing an av­er­age 14% surge in ad­vance book­ings for sum­mer travel to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Paris and Sin­ga­pore. “On the av­er­age, flight fares in the sale pe­riod are 30% lower than the past 30 days,” said Aloke Ba­j­pai, CEO and co-founder, ix­igo.

Eti­had Air­ways, an­nounced its global sale on Fri­day. Trav­ellers fly­ing from In­dia to Abu Dhabi, the US, Europe, Canada, Aus­tralia and Africa can book these spe­cial fares, ex­clu­sively avail­able on its web­site for the first two days and af­ter that the dis­counted fares will be avail­able on all plat­forms.

For travel be­tween Jan­uary 29 and March 29 with trips com­pleted till May 2, guests are el­i­gi­ble for up to 35% dis­count on econ­omy class and up to 20% on busi­ness class. For travel af­ter March 30, there will be 10% dis­count on econ­omy class tick­ets and up to 20% on busi­ness class.

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