Just as the rush of travelers eager to fly out of the country at the start of holiday season led to a sharp increase in prices of air tickets, so too is it now; as travelers head back home at the end of their vacation period, they face the prospect of purchasing return tickets at exorbitant prices. High ticket prices at the start and end of the holiday season has become an annual event, and is proving a gold mine of profit for airlines and travel agencies.
Reports indicate that the cost of return air tickets to Kuwait have increased by five-fold from what they were before. Interestingly, the prices for outbound tickets from Kuwait have now decreased appreciably from what they were at the height of the start of holidays.
Outbound tickets to some destinations are now available for as low as KD20. Travel agencies maintain that this five-fold increase in return fares is only to be expected. They note that this year there was a huge demand for tickets as people headed abroad for vacations, after being cooped up in the country for the past two years due to the COVID-19 health crisis and continued infections in many places. Accordingly, there is now a big demand for return tickets as people have to return to their jobs and students need to head back to schools.
Industry-watchers say this is an ideal time for those citizens and residents who are not bound by other issues,such as having schoolgoing children, to plan and go on vacation at a lower cost and enjoy very competitive prices for flights. Travel industry expert and formerly a member of the Federation of Tourism and Travel Offices, Abdul Rahman Al-Kharafi, stated that the prices of tickets for flights departing from Kuwait are witnessing a significant decline, especially for some destinations such as Alexandria and Assiut in Egypt, which reached a low price of nearly KD20 for departure tickets, while the cost of one-way ticket to Cairo is currently only KD27.
Another travel industry veteran Naji Khader, said that the increasing demand for return tickets comes mainly from European destinations, as well as Turkey and Thailand, as return ticket prices from London to Kuwait has shot up to KD204, and from Istanbul to Kuwait to aboutKD 226, and KD110 from Baku, Azerbaijan.
Among the destinations from which large number of residents are returning to Kuwait are Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and India which are witnessing an increasing demand, with the prices of return tickets from Jordan to Kuwait ranging between KD150 and KD220, from Cairo and Alexandria ranging between KD140 to more than KD160, and from Beirut KD176. Experts concur that the price of return tickets could fall by over 70 percent by the middle of next month.