Airlines come up with attractive offers to pep up football spirit


With only a few days left for the Qatar World Cup, airline companies are vying with each other to woo football fans from Kerala to Doha with attractive offers.

Amid the soaring airfares, budget airlines offer a trip to Doha from the State in the fare band of ₹15,000 to ₹20,000.

Though the State is known for its love for football, it seems Keralites are yet to make up their mind on whether to catch a flight to Doha or watch the World Cup matches on television. This, in fact, has forced many airline companies to come up with attractive offers. A senior airline official told The Hindu that the booking trends showed a mixed response with bookings only slightly higher than the normal numbers.

The Air India Express, which provides the highest number of weekly flights to Doha from Kerala, has announced that their lowest fares to Doha would start from ₹18,000, while the lowest fare of IndiGo flights to Doha starts at ₹15,751. The Air India Express also announced a special flight between Doha and Mumbai on December 18 to bring the football buffs back after the World Cup final.

“Normally, the airfares would be ruling high from August to January. Among these months, November is a relatively lean month as most of the holidayers get ready for a planned vacation in December. Since Doha is just a stone’s throw away from Kerala compared to previous World Cup venues and considering the legacy of Kerala as a football-loving State, the airlines are hopeful of more bookings in the coming days and they are likely to come up with more attractive offers,” said a source close to IndiGo.

Processing delay

“One of the reasons we noticed for the slow booking trends is the time required for processing the Hayya card by the Qatari authorities. The card is required to enter the World Cup stadiums and the country. The card is a Fan ID that also provides ticket-holders free access to metro and bus transportation services on match days. We anticipate there would be momentum in the bookings in the coming days,” said an airline source.


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