India-UAE flights: Airlines open bookings for May 5 onwards
One-way business class tickets selling for over Dh7,000.
Airfares from India to the UAE have skyrocketed for flights that are scheduled to resume next month once the suspension is lifted due to pent-up demand and people rushing to return to the UAE.
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Starting April 24, the UAE imposed a suspension on flights from India for 10 days. Carriers of the two countries have opened their bookings on India-UAE routes from May 5, after the stipulated suspension period is over.
When Khaleej Times checked the rates online, data on Emirates website showed flights from Mumbai to Dubai resuming on May 5 with one-way business class airfare starting from Rs146,000 (Dh7,170) with economy class seats sold out. One-way airfare on the same route starts from Rs35,200 (Dh1,730) on May 6 and Rs57,907 (Dh2,846) a day later. Meanwhile, some economical options are still available. Air India's airfare on the Mumbai-Dubai route on May 5 starts from Dh590 while some budget carriers offer fares as low as Dh369.
The big increase in Emirates' airfares is attributed to a large number of people buying tickets for connecting flights to Europe and other countries.
Bharat Aidasani, managing partner at Pluto Travels, says there will be strong demand because a lot of people want to come back to resume their jobs, while some had gone for business and to see their relatives, who now want to come back early due to the surge in Covid-19 cases there as well as fearing that flight ban will be extended.
Aidasani sees airfares going up with every passing day because the people who want to come back to UAE have already started rebookings.
“People are scared and advancing their tickets to come back as early as possible. Hence, one-way airfare can go up substantially due to limited number of seats and airlines will not increase India-UAE frequency because this is a temporary factor,” Aidasani told Khaleej Times.
He noted that there can be over 100 per cent increase in airfares during the next 10 days. “Prior to suspension of India-UAE flights, people paid up to Dh5,000 on Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Calcutta routes. In the first couple of days after the resumption of service, India to UAE one-way airfare will stay high,” he added.
Shaik Shibli, Head of Marketing at ITL World, said that during the last two days after the announcement of flights suspension, all the seats were sold out.
“Same is going to be the case when flights resume from India to UAE, at least for some time till the backlog is clear. During the last two days, one-way airfare from Cochin to Dubai was close to Dh6,000 for economy class. For a few days, you could see that again when flights resume.”
Shibli pointed out people in the UAE don’t want to go to India considering the situation there while a lot of people are stuck there who couldn’t make it and want to come back.
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