Travel between India and UAE: Airfare to rise as expats return from holidays – News

Travel between India and UAE: Airfare to rise as expats return from holidays – News

The travel agencies report a sharp increase in demand



AFP

AFP

Published: Sat 6 August 2022, 12:03

Last updated: Sat 6 August 2022, 00:05

Air fares from various cities in India to the United Arab Emirates are expected to rise by upwards of 45 to 50 percent this month as foreigners return home after their summer vacations.

Travel agencies are reporting a sharp increase in demand for air tickets from South Indian sectors such as Kochi, Kozhikode, Chennai and Bengaluru. Travel agencies said demand for tickets from Mumbai and Delhi to the United Arab Emirates is also increasing.

As business travel is also set to resume after the summer holidays, demand and ticket prices will rise dramatically after August 15, they added.

Raheesh Babu, CEO of online travel platform Musafir.com, explained, “The prices of one-way tickets from various sectors across India to UAE will witness an increase of 45 to 50 per cent after August 15.”

“One-way fares from the destinations in the Kerala sector and Mumbai average Dh1,200 before August 15. However, prices skyrocket between August 15 and 30. They average Dh1,300 to Dh1,900.”

Babu added that while traffic tends to peak historically at this time of the year, this year has witnessed record travel numbers to India.

“This is the first year that Indian expatriates could travel to Indian cities without any Covid-related restrictions since March 2020. A majority of travelers were people who left for India after two years,” explained Babu.

Several other travel agencies also report similar trends.

Afi Ahmed, managing director of Smart Travels, also said that fares from India to several GCC destinations at this time of the year have been high for several years. “Many families, especially those with school-going children, have no choice but to return from holidays as they have to return in time to reopen the school,” Ahmed said.

Schools closed for the summer holidays in July, so a travel agency organized charter flights from the UAE to Kerala to combat the high prices. Dubai-based travel agency Equator Travel Management LLC organized a one-way charter flight to a popular destination in Kerala on Air India Express for prices as low as Dh1,090.

However, these offers are few and far between, as most Indian and regional airlines are constrained by bilateral agreements between both countries, making it challenging to scale up operations to meet the high demand.

Air India plans to start thrice-weekly flights from Dubai to Kolkata only this winter, the airline’s regional manager said. “Bilateral agreements limit us (and) therefore we just have to play with the existing rights,” he said.

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