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India-UAE flights: Why expat family spent Dh277,000 to charter jet

Suneeti Ahuja-Kohli/Dubai
Filed on May 25, 2021

Photos: Supplied

Abdullah Anfar and his wife

On a regular commercial plane, eight business class tickets for four adults and four kids would have cost about Dh40,000.


Dubai-based Indian businessman Mushtaque Anfar shelled out Dh277,000 to charter a flight for his family of eight from Assam to Dubai on May 20 to save his business, his son has revealed.

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Abdullah Anfar, managing director, Oudh Al Anfar Perfumes, told Khaleej Times: “My father rarely spends anything on himself. He believes in using his money to help people in need. But with both of us in India, our business in Dubai would have been affected, so I convinced him and managed to secure a chartered flight on May 20 with the help of authorities in Dubai.”

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Mushtaque Anfar is a UAE Golden Visa holder. He had established his perfumes brand in India in 1950. He moved to Dubai in 2003, when his son Abdullah Anfar was 13, and expanded his business. Today, the company has 40 outlets in the GCC and distributes its products to 32 countries worldwide.

“My father makes regular visits to Hojai, our village in Assam, for his philanthropic work. This year, he went to India in March to see his ailing mother and take stock of how he can help with Covid relief in his village.

“I followed suit in April and we were to return together on April 25. However, due to suspension of commercial flights, we got stuck and had to look for alternative ways to return to Dubai,” said Abdullah Anfar, adding that it took time to convince his father to take a chartered flight to Dubai, as he believes in simple living.

The flight has been making news for various reasons. It was flown into Guwahati from Dubai to ferry the family to the emirates, and also, it was the first time an international chartered flight flew out for Dubai from that airport.

Besides, the exorbitant price paid for ferrying eight passengers, which included four children, reflects the high demand for such services. On a regular commercial plane, eight business class tickets for four adults and four kids would have cost around Dh40,000 or slightly more.

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Anfar has been making frequent visits to his village in Assam to give back to his community. “My father runs a foundation in his village that has been helping students go to schools and colleges. We even help students find and secure jobs. During the pandemic, the foundation has been helping people with oxygen cylinders too. My father has been supervising its distribution and even refilling process. There is just one hospital in the village, which is not enough for all the people there. My father’s work has really helped people,” said Abdullah.

Demand for private jets on India-UAE route has been on the rise since the UAE’s suspension of flights from India came into effect on April 24. The UAE-based airlines are constantly assessing the pandemic situation in India and for now have extended the suspension of flights until the mid of June.

suneeti@khaleejtimes.com





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