A Middle Eastern airline is offering return flights to Europe for $1,800 as bookings plummet amid fears over terrorist attacks. The flights to London, Paris or Rome with Gulf Air are being offered at the bargain price for the next two months, travel agents say. Tickets on flights with Air France or Cathay Pacific to the same destinations over the same period cost at least $8,000. The catch for nervous fliers is that Gulf Air flights pass through the airspace of Middle Eastern countries and involve changing planes in Bahrain or Abu Dhabi. The travel agencies attributed the cheap price to a 'special promotion' by the airline and insisted the flights would be safe. A salesman at Air Travel in Mongkok said: 'It has got nothing to do with the war. The company is offering special discounts for promotion. Gulf Air provides good quality services and we have never received one single complaint.' He said passengers had only a two-hour wait to change flights at Bahrain or Abu Dhabi. Another agency, Explorer Travel in Hollywood Plaza, Diamond Hill, offered the same price. An employee said the tickets were cheap now but the price would be different after November. A salesman at Morning Star in Tsim Sha Tsui said the ticket prices offered by other airlines to Europe had not changed much after the summer holidays. Gulf Air could not be contacted yesterday. The Civil Aviation Department has reminded airlines they must inform the department before imposing surcharges on customers. This follows the decision by several airlines to slightly increase fares to cover increased insurance premiums following the terrorist attacks on the US. Continental Airlines announced yesterday it was cutting the frequency of its direct Hong Kong-New York flights from every day to four times a week from October 2. The route, which flies over the North Pole rather than the Pacific, was the subject of a heated battle between Continental, United Airlines and Cathay Pacific earlier this year as the airlines raced to launch their own version of the high-profile service first. Continental began flying the route in March, followed by United a month later. Cathay, which had difficulty negotiating fly-over rights from the Russian Government, was to have begun offering the route this month before it decided to suspend the launch in light of the global economic slowdown. United abandoned the route in July after only four months due to low passenger numbers. A spokesman for Continental said further cuts in its transpacific service schedule would be unveiled in the next few weeks.