"Civil Aviation" admits: We noticed a change in ticket prices... and we will take measures - Saudi News

The increase in the prices of domestic airline tickets announced on the ticket booking sites of Saudi airlines is exaggerated by up to 100%, amid dissatisfaction with travelers in some regions who had to travel by road on railways and private cars, and some residents of border areas resorted to travel through the airports of countries. Neighboring them (Kuwait and Bahrain) in the blessed Ramadan to perform Umrah, after ticket prices from Dammam, Al-Ahsa and Hafr Al-Batin exceeded 2,600 riyals per person, while from the airports of Manama and Kuwait the price of a round-trip ticket does not exceed 1,500 riyals, describing this as “crisis trade” .. this rise The General Authority of Civil Aviation issued a statement yesterday, announcing that it had noticed a change in the price pattern of some categories of air tickets, and that it had followed up with interest the information circulating about the prices of domestic air tickets.

The authority indicated that as a result, it has taken, as the regulator of the civil aviation sector in Saudi Arabia, a package of direct measures that will result in a review of the air transport pricing structure and an increase in seat capacity as well as the number of flights. With the aim of ensuring the provision of reasonable prices for passengers, enhancing competitiveness in the air transport sector, and emphasizing that the principle of passenger rights and protection is a top priority to which it is committed.

My price goes up every minute

Hani Al-Aradi (one of the employees of travel and tourism agencies) in the Hail region said: “The prices have suddenly changed and jumped to high numbers in some cities in the Kingdom. For example, from Hail to Jeddah, the price on the site during booking differs from the price when paying as it rises in minutes, and by a large percentage, and the rates of rise may It reaches 100% for some cities in the Kingdom, especially flights to Jeddah.”

Muhammad Ayed Al-Shammari (one of the owners of travel and tourism agencies) attributed the price hike, to companies reconsidering their pricing policies in order to match the price of service, maintenance and fuel, and the price paid by the customer. The conduct of trips, and the demand for travel, because alternatives were available in some cities, such as the railways and highways.

He stated that the high prices are very high and illogical, especially on flights to Jeddah, and the ticket from Hail to Jeddah may reach 2500 riyals. Mishaal Al-Shammari, a resident of Hafr Al-Batin, added: “In order to travel to perform Umrah through Jeddah, we had to travel from Qaisumah Airport to Kuwait and from there to Makkah Al-Mukarramah by land. The ticket price is 2,300 riyals, while from Kuwait to Jeddah the ticket price is 1,000 riyals.”

Eid Al-Ruwaili (a resident of Qurayyat in the north of the Kingdom) said that the increase in the prices of airline tickets from Qurayyat to Jeddah by 100% prompted him to travel from Amman Airport to Jeddah at an amount of 500 riyals.

Problematic trade crises… an unjustified increase

Citizen Adnan Al-Zureik stated that two months before Ramadan began, he and his family members decided to go to Makkah to perform Umrah in the holy month, but he was surprised by the prices, especially during Ramadan from Dammam to Jeddah, as the price of one round-trip ticket between all domestic air carriers amounts to 2,600 riyals. He was surprised by the rate of increase during Ramadan, as 8 days before Ramadan, prices were normal and did not exceed half of this amount. And he indicated that one of his friends advised him to book from Bahrain to go to Jeddah and return from it for a smaller amount, so he decided to take the advice of his friend to be surprised that the price of a ticket from Bahrain Airport to Jeddah is 145 Bahraini dinars, or 1450 riyals, indicating that exploiting the needs of the citizen in such times is not considered Just a crisis trade.

Khaled Al-Ajran stated that the high prices of airline tickets caused a problem for the people of Hafr Al-Batin Governorate; Which made them have to go to Kuwait and travel via an international flight to a Saudi region at a cheaper price than the carriers.

He noted that these rises are unjustified, especially as they are against the state’s orientation for domestic tourism.

As for Salman Al-Shammari, he points out that the price hikes in airline tickets these days are not justified at all, as people want to move between Saudi cities for treatment or tourism, and they find that the ticket price exceeds 1500 riyals, and when we hear the prices of tickets through these air carriers in international aviation, we find that they are cheaper Much of the local price, and it is unfortunate that prices in the Gulf are much lower than in Saudi Arabia.

Invoking the losses of the Corona crisis

Economists confirmed to Okaz that the rises witnessed by local air carriers are completely unjustified, whatever the justifications those companies have.

They indicated that the pretext of the Corona pandemic and future compensation for the losses suffered by these companies during the stoppage of the pandemic is unacceptable, especially when compared to domestic aviation in the Gulf countries and the Arab countries surrounding the Kingdom, which has become a primary option for Saudis to travel between the cities of the Kingdom instead of going to internal airports.

A member of the Saudi Society for Economics, Dr. Abdullah Al-Magluth, indicated that the rise in these prices is a harm to the passenger and is unjustified or logical, and the rise reflects the futility of consumer protection; Due to the difference in prices in other neighboring countries.

He noted that these prices do not care about the importance of flying for passengers within the Kingdom and their transportation; What constitutes them harm and increase in depreciation costs.

Al-Maghlouth said: “These companies and the Civil Aviation Authority should monitor these prices, and keep them in line with the amount and possibility of salaries so that their prices are very reasonable and reasonable, and contribute to the recovery of tourism activity within the Kingdom and between regions, so how can we encourage the tourism sector and local air carriers and those prices High and illogical, there is no justification for these exaggerated rises, which we did not witness previously. Is it covering the costs of the losses of the Corona pandemic period, which witnessed a cessation of aviation, or a rise in the prices of oil and its derivatives, but when we compare prices with airlines carrying neighboring countries, we find them lower than the prices of Airlines in the Kingdom are much, even though they have been exposed to what local aviation has been exposed to in the Corona pandemic.”

Summer and vacations..exceptional conditions

Economic expert Khaled Al-Dosari explained: “Domestic airline tickets have witnessed an unreasonable increase in prices, outperforming the prices of international flights. Because of the Corona pandemic, the entry of the summer season and vacations is one of the factors that affect the rise in ticket prices, as it is noted that the price of fuel is rising all over the world, and the attempt to harmonize the price paid by the customer and the services provided by carrier companies.

And Al-Dosari indicated that the high prices and lack of control over them led to them leaving supply and demand, and the local airlines took advantage of these conditions to manipulate prices, and here comes the role of the Civil Aviation Authority to protect the consumer and monitor irrational prices in order to achieve compatibility between the price offered by the customer and the services provided by the airlines. .

Increasing demand and specific capacity

The economic expert, Dr. Salem Bajaja, stated that the domestic aviation market witnessed a significant increase, and the reason for this may be the increase in the demand for domestic flights in all cities of the Kingdom, especially after the economic openness and the decline of the Corona epidemic, pointing out that among the reasons is the increase in the percentage of reservations for domestic flights from the capacity Specific and competitive prices for tickets, as well as among the reasons why the traveler was late in pre-booking some time before the flight date so that he could get a reduced price if he booked long before the flight.

Professor of Business Administration and Marketing, Habibullah Muhammad al-Turkistani, explained that the reasons are known, including that Saudi Arabia is sprawling, and it needs communication between citizens, especially during vacations.

He noted that there are no other means of transportation, such as trains, to relieve the pressure on planes, as for cars, they cover part of the process, but customers differ in their needs and desires for transportation, such as comfort and speed of arrival, and so on, and the most important point is the absence of airlines that provide more seats to become There is a balance between supply and demand and prices are stable, and remain suitable for the majority of citizens or users of air transport.

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