Covid-19: Flight ticket rates soar after India-UAE flights suspension
Indian passengers have until April 24 midnight to get back to UAE
Travel agents in the UAE have said the demand for tickets by passengers wishing to return to the UAE from India has quadrupled in the past two hours. Passengers have until Saturday evening to come to the UAE, said Raheesh Babu, general manager of Musafir.com.
Moreover, all scheduled flights in the Kerala sector are fully booked up to Saturday. “Passengers are looking to take domestic transit flights to Mumbai or Delhi to get to the UAE. UAE flights from Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi are full at the moment,” he said.
DON'T MISS: UAE suspends all passenger flights from India
The Air India Express online reservation system suffered a major global outage on Thursday, causing more inconvenience to passengers. Air India Express said: “Our reservation system is down due to a major global outage on our service provider’s platform. Our teams are working with them to bring it back online at the earliest.”
The last-minute scramble for tickets has resulted in interested travellers rushing to PCR testing centres in India. “If passengers go for the test today (Thursday), they may be able to get the results tomorrow (Friday). They can return on flights scheduled on the later half of Saturday,” said Babu. Agents are also trying to arrange charter flights as the number of flights in the sector are too few to meet the large volume of demand.
Musafir.com, an Internet-based travel agency, and a few other agencies are trying to pool their resources to make these arrangements for interested travellers. Afi Ahmed, managing director of Smart Travels, told Khaleej Times: “The ticket prices are also incredibly high at the moment. A one-way ticket from India to UAE costs Dh1,000 and above from certain sectors. Also, since the Kerala sector flights are fully booked, passengers are looking for transit flights to destinations like Mumbai or Delhi, or other GCC countries even.”
Raja Mir Wasim, manager MICE and holidays, Galadari International Travel Services, said: “Several Indian expatriates who had planned their trips over the coming days have cancelled their tickets. The incoming demand over the next two days is extremely high as well.”
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