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Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Travel search engine: Ticket fares from Qatar to Europe plunge 16%

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Qatar residents flying to Europe have been spending an average of US$143 less for their summer flights than in 2014, but are still shelling out more than those flying from the UAE, new data shows.

Meanwhile, Doha travelers bound for the US are being forced to dig a little deeper into their pockets to pay for their plane tickets, after airfares inched up 3 percent over the last year.

That’s according to travel search engine Kayak, which analyzed search queries conducted through its website between January and April for travel in June in both 2014 and 2015 on its most frequent routes for Doha News.

It found that average airfares from Doha to Europe declined 16 percent from last year, from an average of $866 in 2014 to $743 in 2015.

While Kayak didn’t offer theories on what’s driving the decline, increased competition for travel to Europe may be one explanation.

Competition

Over the last year, Qatar Airways has added several new flights and more seats on several of its European routes.

Qatar Airways A380
Qatar Airways A380

That includes using bigger planes to fly to Milan, Venice and Rome, in addition to using the airline’s new double-decker Airbus A380s on flights to London and Paris.

Qatar Airways’ new direct service to Amsterdam, meanwhile, is scheduled to start operating next month.

Along with the additional competition, the decline in fares has also coincided with a steep drop in oil prices. Fuel typically represents a third or more of an airline’s operating expenses, according to Reuters.

Oil prices

In response to lower global oil prices, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said in January that the carrier would be scrapping its fuel surcharge, which made up nearly 18 percent of the total fare on a one-way ticket to London at the time.

However, no timeline was mentioned for eliminating the extra charge, which was still being levied on tickets this week.

And speaking at the Arabian Travel Market trade show in Dubai this week, Al Baker said the airline does not plan to cut fares.

“A lot of people think that because the oil price has dropped by 50 percent, so also our ticket prices should go down by 50 percent. They don’t realize that when the oil prices were high, our margins were absolutely eroded and we were in negative territory,” he said, according to Arabian Business.

Better deals for UAE residents

Like Qatar, fares between the UAE and Europe also declined 16 percent between June 2014 and June 2015, according to Kayak.

In absolute terms, however, it costs more to fly to Europe from Doha than the UAE, which is serviced by airlines such as Air France, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Austrian Airlines and several seasonal charters that do not operate at Hamad International Airport.

Hamad International Airport
Hamad International Airport

Kayak said the average fare between the UAE and Europe fell from $750 for travel in June 2014 to $620.

UAE residents are also now paying less for flights to the US. Average fares between the two countries declined to $1,442, down 14 percent from $1,680 in 2014.

Qatar residents headed to the US aren’t so lucky.

Fares from Doha to the US actually climbed to $1,612, up 3 percent from $1,578.

What trends are you seeing as you book your summer holidays? Thoughts?

18 COMMENTS

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MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Where’s the open skies policy for Qatar that you so vigorously protest for around the world Mr Al Baker? I guess hypocrisy comes naturally to you.

The residents and Qataris are just there to be milked for your benefit

Paul
Paul
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Salaries from the gov. include ticket benefits.

facty
facty
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Dont think its Qatar govt’s problem. Those airlines may not be interested in flying to Qatar unless there are large number of expats from those countries. Tourism isnt big here.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago
Reply to  facty

Tourism is huge, The Tourist Authority tells us every other day.

Expat77
Expat77
6 years ago

Thanks DN for the info. Whereever we need to travel, first head to UAE from Doha and get a connection for better fares and services.

Khalil Ben Dhafer
Khalil Ben Dhafer
6 years ago

HIA and QR Should open up the sky and let the other airlines introduce their services to Qatar residents like Dubai and reduces a bit the high prices and the unfair competition of QR.

No
No
6 years ago

Is the Qatari market worth it? Ask those airlines.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  No

Doha is not the business – it’s through traffic creating the volumes.

Amber
Amber
6 years ago

The issue isn’t really with QA. The issue is other airlines may not feel it is a good enough investment to have their planes flying here. Remember there are only about 2.5 million people here. Not a lot at all. So there really wouldn’t be a lot of business for those airlines.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago
Reply to  Amber

well, other airlines could use Doha as a stop over to continue somewhere else….

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

They do.

al-Lalal
al-Lalal
6 years ago

Qatar Airways tickets include a Teddy Bear Surcharge, which will be eliminated in 2023 🙂

Amber
Amber
6 years ago

It is cheaper to fly another airline but honestly for me it is an absolute headache.

Waiting 5 hours or more between connecting flights and then if the layover time is short I winded up missing my connecting flight because my plane before that left late. I had really nightmarish experiences. I’ve had lost baggage , missed connecting flights more than I can count where I had to wait 12 hours plus for another flight. Rude airport employees.

I usually don’t mind shelling out the extra money for Qatar Airwats to fly direct to the U.S because it’s just me.

But if I had a family I would probably have to go with a cheaper airline. I don’t see Qatar Airways lowering their prices as they are are now focusing on transfers and not people who are actually flying to and from Doha.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago

Meanwhile global CO2 levels go past the 400ppm mark.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago

Honestly, I haven’t seen any of these discounts…..where did you find them, in the kinder eggs???? It’s actually always more expensive.

ex_pat
ex_pat
6 years ago

This survey is a little disingenuous. The true measure of whether prices have gone up or down is to see what is charged for the same seat on the same flight to the same place at exactly the same time as last year. For example, if everything else remains the same, but a low cost carrier were to introduce a cheap flight to Istanbul, this would bring the average fare from Doha to Europe down. I can promise you one thing, Qatar Airways will not have done anything to reduce their yield (ultimately price) on services to Europe from Doha.

muttley
muttley
6 years ago

Turkish Airlines seem to be the cheapest but they’re the same price as last year! Can’t see any reduction to Europe.

The Reporter
The Reporter
6 years ago

“When oil prices are high we are in negative territory”. Absolute rot Mr. Baker.. What on earth do you think the fuel surcharge covers? Get some real competition into HIA and you’d soon change your tune.

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