Ten of the best summer flight deals: sale fares from Etihad, Emirates, flydubai and more

Destinations on offer include Sri Lanka, Austria, Thailand, the Philippines and the idyllic Maldives

Thailand is one of several holiday destinations within reach of the UAE on cut-price flights this summer. Photo: Unsplash
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Travel is back after the coronavirus hiatus and while the best time to book flights is typically 21 weeks in advance, it’s not too late to find cheap summer flights.

Etihad Airways has launched a summer flight sale with cut-price fares to destinations such as Turkey, Thailand, Seoul and Chicago. Return economy fares start from Dh795 ($216) on flights to Tel Aviv, and business-class flights from Dh9,995 are available for travellers that want to fly in style to Bangkok.

Emirates also has special offers on airfares to selected destinations this summer, with booking available until the end of this month. The Dubai airline is offering discounted flights to Phuket and Sri Lanka, as well as return economy flights to Kenya starting from Dh1,895.

Low-cost airlines are also slashing fares for summer, with Wizz Air offering seasonal prices from Abu Dhabi to the Maldives, Cyprus and Georgia. Air Arabia, meanwhile, is offering flights from Sharjah to Uganda for less than Dh1,500.

If you’re still deciding where to go this summer, here are 10 of the best flight deals to book now.

Go with Etihad to Austria with flights from Dh1,195

A good deal is on offer from Abu Dhabi to Vienna with Etihad this summer. Photo: Christian Stemper / WienTourismus

One of Europe's most beautiful cities is Austria's classical capital. Known as the City of Music because it was home to more famous classical composers than any other city in the world, Vienna proudly showcases the work of greats such as Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert. Only six hours from the UAE, the city shines in summertime, when people flock to its outdoor swimming pools, ice cream parlours, public parks and riverside areas.

Fly from Abu Dhabi to Vienna in economy class with Etihad this summer, with fares from Dh1,195. Bookable until May 19 for travel between June 4 and November 30.

Summer in Cyprus with Wizz Air for under Dh400

Cyprus is a good option for a summer getaway. Photo: Secret Travel Guide

The island of Cyprus makes for a great seaside summer getaway and Wizz Air Abu Dhabi is offering return flights to the eastern Mediterranean nation for under Dh400. Flying to Larnaca, the third-largest city in Cyprus, travellers can explore one of the oldest settlements in Europe or get to know the Finikoudes — the city's bustling coastal promenade and the place to go for beachside lounging, afternoon strolls and evening sundowners.

Wizz Air return flights from Abu Dhabi to Larnaca start from Dh358 for travel in June, excluding check-in bags.

Low-cost flights from Dubai to Manila with Cebu Pacific

Fly to the Philippines with Cebu Pacific's cut-price air fares from Dubai. AFP

Travellers who prioritise price over comfort and want to visit the Philippines in June can find bargain airfares to Manila with Cebu Pacific. The capital of the Philippines is a city like no other, thronging with colour, crowds, culture and more. It also offers bargain shopping, eclectic street food and is home to the world's oldest Chinatown. Of course, the gateway city is also the jumping off point for island-hopping in this beautiful archipelago, with access to Palawan, Boracay, Corona and more.

Summer flights for travel in June from Dubai to Manila with Cebu Pacific start from Dh1,538, on a basic fare basis.

Fly Abu Dhabi to Istanbul for under Dh1,000 with Etihad

Tourists at Hagia Sophia mosque, in the Sultanahmet district of Istanbul. Bloomberg

Fewer than five hours from Abu Dhabi, centuries-old Istanbul intrigues with its fusion of East meets West. Travellers keen to explore history will be spoilt for choice with the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Dolmabahce Palace among the city's famous landmarks. Summer comes with the perfect climate for eating mezze, visiting the beach or enjoying a day trip to Princes' Islands, south-east of the city in the Sea of Marmara.

Etihad economy flights to Istanbul start from Dh935, when booked before May 19 for travel until November.

Go to Georgia with Wizz Air for under Dh300

Folk singers performing in the gardens of the Bagrati Cathedral in Kutaisi, Georgia. The Cathedral of King Bagrat in Kutaisi ranks among the best monuments of Georgian architecture. The constructions began in the last quarter of the 10th century and ended in 1003, during the time of flourishing feudal economy and culture in Georgia. The acropolis rose on a hill above the right bank of the Rioni River.

Georgia is rapidly becoming a bucket-list destination — whether for skiing in Gudauri or summer hiking in the country's mountainous north. Travellers keen to follow the crowd can fly with Wizz Air from Abu Dhabi to Kutaisi, Georgia's southern gem. With its ancient cathedrals, fascinating caves and futuristic architecture, it's well worth a visit.

And with July flight prices with Wizz Air Abu Dhabi starting from only Dh288, excluding checked baggage, it's a summertime escape that won't break the bank.

Fly to Uganda with Air Arabia, return fares from Dh1,450

Uganda offers adventures such as safari drives and gorilla spotting. Photo: Uganda Tourism Board

For something a bit different this summer, try a back-to-nature visit to Uganda. Less than a six-hour flight from the UAE, the south-east African country experiences its dry season from June to August, which makes it one of the best times of year to visit for spotting wildlife in the national parks. Summer is also a great time for mountain gorilla trekking, a once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Fly from Sharjah to Entebbe, with Air Arabia fares starting from Dh1,450 in July.

Early summer escape to Sri Lanka with Emirates

Sri Lanka's golden beaches and mist-shrouded mountains are a mere four hours from the UAE. Photo: Rosemary Behan

The island of Sri Lanka is within an easy four hours from the UAE and has plenty to offer holidaymakers, from beautiful coastlines to mist-shrouded highlands. Travellers looking for an early summer getaway at a good price can book to fly to Colombo from Dubai with Emirates. In June, the south-west monsoon rains are falling over Colombo and the Tea Country, but these often consist of a few showers each day. The country's north-eastern half is dry at this time, giving adventurous travellers a great opportunity to visit less-explored regions.

Emirates special fares to Colombo start from Dh1,745, for travel until June 22. Business-class passengers can enjoy Emirates' promotional fares all summer long, with return airfares from Dh5,945.

Travel to the Maldives for less than Dh800

Wizz Air has low-cost flights from Abu Dhabi to the Maldives. Photo: Unsplash / Upgraded Points

A perennial holiday favourite, the Maldives never fails to impress with its azure blue waters and pristine shores, not to mention overwater villas and thriving Indian Ocean marine life. And while luxury has long been the calling card for Maldives tourists, travellers hoping to get to the islands on a budget can do exactly that with Wizz Air's summer flight deals from Abu Dhabi. The cheapest fares exclude check-in baggage but packing light shouldn't be too much of a problem since most days in the Maldives are spent lounging on the beach or in the ocean.

Return flights with Wizz Air Abu Dhabi start from Dh718 in July.

See Slovenia this summer with flydubai

Slovenia is within easy reach this summer, with low-cost flights via flydubai. Reuters

Slovenia is the world's first certified green destination and a great choice for a summer escape thanks to its abundance of nature, culture, history and more. Sandwiched between Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Italy, the nation has Alpine mountains, lush forests, lakes and an Adriatic coastline. Travel with flydubai to Ljubljana, the country's vibrant capital where there is plenty to see and do, as well as a thriving culinary scene.

Return economy flights from Dubai to Ljubljana with flydubai start from Dh2,115, with a journey time of just over six hours.

Explore bustling Bangkok, Air Arabia's newest destination

Air Arabia will fly direct from Sharjah to Bangkok in time for summer. Photo: Unsplash

Thailand's capital city is the latest addition to Air Arabia's network, with direct flights starting from June 30. The new route gives travellers keen on checking out the Thai capital's Sukhumvit Road, Chinatown, flower markets and endless temples a pocket-friendly way to get there. Summer in Bangkok means rainy season, so be prepared for humidity, but it's no reason not to travel. July and August are also quieter months when there are fewer tourists, hotels are cheaper, daily temperatures are cooler and the surrounding countryside is lush and green.

Return flights from Sharjah to Bangkok start from Dh1,800 with Air Arabia, with flights starting on June 30.

Updated: May 22, 2023, 6:15 AM