Airfare war rages over Saudi skies


A fare war raged over the Saudi skies with Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAA) resolute on maintaining its low fares during the peak holiday season, local media reports said.

Foreign airlines operating in the Kingdom and SAA failed to reach an agreement on uniform fares during the high season despite three meetings on the issue last month.

The Board of Airline Representatives however did agree to reduce agents' commission from nine to seven per cent from October in line with other Gulf states except Oman.

According to informed sources, while foreign airlines were keen to raise their fares for the high season, SAA insisted on retaining the prices at off-season levels.

Following the failure of the talks, some foreign airlines cut their fares to compete with SAA.

SriLankan Airlines for instance has brought down its fare to Colombo to match the national carrier's fare beginning July.

Gulf Air's sales manager for Central Province, Nassir Khan, however said his airline would coordinate with the national carrier in the fare structure.