Air India Express (AIE), the budget carrier of the national airline Air India, has come up with competitive fares to lure Non-Resident Keralites in the Gulf to visit home during Onam.

The competitive fares are offered amid a global crisis in the aviation sector, an increase in aviation turbine fuel price, and rupee depreciation. The fares in the Gulf sector (to Kerala) are at rock bottom now. The airline offers the Non-Resident Keralites (NoRKs) attractive fares as low as AED 499 (Emirati dirham, often denoted by AED) through the sales network personnel of AIE.

The fares from Kerala to the Gulf are on the higher side. “The high fares to the Middle East will last for another 10 days. The return fares are also less compared to other airlines operating in the sector,’’ a spokesman of the airline told The Hindu.

As educational institutions have opened in the Gulf, NoRKs who work there do not prefer to fly down with the family now. AIE officials said the major chunk of travellers from the Gulf to the three airports in Kerala is bachelors.

The return fares from Kerala to the Gulf are cheap in the AIE if one decides to fly back by October end. The low cost carrier uses 17 of its 21 new-generation Boeing 737-800, in its fleet at present, to operate in the Kerala region comprising Mangalore, Kozhikode, Kochi, and Thiruvananthapuram. The number of weekly flights comes to 122.

Effective January, the low-cost carrier has been maintaining 95 per cent on-time performance from the three airports of the State. This has come in for praise from the airline management and the government. It has also helped to improve the revenue with the seat occupancy factor touching over 98 per cent during the last two months, the spokesman said.

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