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Coronavirus Pandemic

Fewer Indians returning home as Air India Express demand dips

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi Filed on August 23, 2020 | Last updated on August 23, 2020 at 05.55 am
Demand, plunges, Air India Express flights, Abu Dhabi

(Supplied photo)

There has been a gradual fall and in the past weeks less than 100 people sought air tickets.

As the demand for Vande Bharat Mission flights has lessened in Abu Dhabi, Air India Express has resumed normal operations from its office on Electra Street.

Facing an unmanageable crowd in early July, Arabian Travel Agency, the general sales agent for Air India Express, had shifted its booking office to India Social and Cultural Centre (ISC) Abu Dhabi in Al Mina.

The number of people seeking tickets had hit 450 in July and touched 500 until August 10, the initial deadline for holders of expired visit visas to exit the country without paying fine. But since then, there has been a gradual fall and in the past weeks less than 100 people sought air tickets as part of the fifth phase of Vande Bharat Mission, an official from the agency said.

"Earlier in July, it was difficult to manage the crowd. In a bid to comply with social distancing and precautionary measures, we moved to the larger facility of the ISC. But the rush of people seeking air tickets has fallen. From 450 to 500 people, the number got reduced to 100. So, we have moved back to our office," an official said after moving logistics back to the office on Electra Street.

The official doesn't see an upswing in demand for air tickets in the upcoming weeks.

"Most of the people, who were in distressed situations, have already left. From now on we are looking at a controlled number of passengers."

The office is now mostly receiving requests for its 'auxiliary' services. "We are getting more people who are looking to change the date of travel. Moreover, people can book online and through travel agents. So, there are more options too," the official added.

The phase 5 of the repatriation continues till August 31. 


Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.

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