Airfares set to rise as expats return from vacation
United Arab Emirates – Airfares from various cities in India to the United Arab Emirates are expected to increase by 45-50% this month as expats return home from summer holidays.
Travel agents are reporting a surge in demand for air tickets from areas in southern India such as Kochi, Kozhikode, Chennai and Bengaluru. Travel agents said demand for tickets from Mumbai and Delhi to the UAE is also on the rise.
As business travel is also expected to resume after the summer vacation, demand and ticket prices will increase significantly after Aug. 15, they added.
Raheesh Babu, Group COO of online travel platform Musafir.com, explained, “Prices of one-way tickets from various sectors across India to the UAE will witness an increase of 45 to 50% after August 15.
“Prices for one-way tickets from Kerala and Mumbai sector destinations average Dh1,200 before August 15. However, prices skyrocket between August 15 and August 30. They average between Dh1 MAD 300 and MAD 1,900.”
Babu added that while traffic tends to historically peak at this time of year, this year has seen a record number of trips to India.
“This is the first year that Indian expats can travel to Indian cities without any Covid-related restrictions since March 2020. The majority of travelers were people who visited India after a gap of two years,” explained Babu.
Several other travel agents are also reporting similar trends.
Afi Ahmed, managing director of Smart Travels, also said that prices from India to several GCC destinations during this time of year have been high for several years. “Many families, especially those with children in school, have no choice but to return from vacation because they have to return in time for school reopening,” Ahmed said.
With schools closed for summer vacation in July, a travel agency organized charter flights from the United Arab Emirates to Kerala to combat high prices. Dubai-based travel agency Equator Travel Management LLC has arranged a one-way charter flight to a popular destination in Kerala on Air India Express for prices as low as Dh1,090.
However, such offers are scarce, as most Indian and regional airlines are constrained by bilateral agreements between the two countries, making it difficult to speed up operations to meet the high demand.
Air India plans to start thrice-weekly flights from Dubai to Kolkata only in winter, the airline’s regional manager has said. “Bilateral agreements limit us (and) therefore, we have to play with current rights only,” he said.
Copyright © 2022 Khaleej Times. All rights reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).