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Airfare may rise by 20pc this summer

altApril 19- Airfares are expected to increase by 20 per cent this summer, starting from mid-May, while the demand for air travel could increase by 10 per cent, said the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Sunday. A renewed interest in leisure travel, coupled with capacity cuts and rising fuel prices is expected to give the aviation sector that much-needed boost post 2009, which saw the industry incur losses of about $9.4 billion (Dh34.5bn).
While some analysts were predicting more than a 30 per cent rise in summer fares compared to the same period last year, sluggish demand in corporate travel has kept fare prices in check. "Airfares have not witnessed too big a jump in comparison to 2009, but we do see demand picking up on some sectors, especially routes such as Cairo, which are almost sold out," said Samer Ascha, General Manager, Sky Line Travel, Tourism and Shipping. "Even though it's too soon to predict, we can anticipate an increase of nearly 20 per cent."
However, Ghassan Aridi, CEO, Alpha Tours, said that "I don't think airfares will rise more than five per cent compared to last year. The economic crisis has not cleared yet, and people are still hoping for a last minute bargain.”
 

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