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UAE flights: Airfares double as demand for travel soars

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai
dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com Filed on August 31, 2021
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After Kerala, the second-highest prices are from Mumbai closely followed by Delhi.


With all categories of visa holders and stranded residents being allowed to fly into UAE, airfares have shot up by at least 100 per cent.

Important: Tourist visa applications, ticket demand quadruple

Ticket prices, especially from the sub-continent to UAE, has soared ever since authorities announced the resumption of visit visas to Covid-vaccinated tourists from August 30. Furthermore, Dubai-bound travellers are not required to show their vaccination records before entering the country, according to airlines.

Must know: Tourists not required to show vaccine records, say airlines

The two recent announcements from Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) have caused a steep rise in air ticket and hotel stay costs, especially in Dubai, travel agents and hotel owners have said.

100 per cent hike in prices

Malik Bedekar of operations manager of Smart Travels, said, “Demand and air ticket prices have soared for travellers from the entire sub-continent. Airfares from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Nepal have gone up by at least 100 per cent.”

Read on: Vaccinated passengers from India, Pakistan can fly to Sharjah, says Air Arabia

“There is a very high demand for travellers from Bangladesh, however, the SOP for travellers and tourist visa holders from the South Asian country is still unclear. Once airlines clarify these rules, I predict airfares should go up again,” explained Badekar.

From India, the highest rates are seen in the Kerala sector, where one-way tickets are averaging at Dh 1,000 to Dh 2,400 depending on the airline and time of travel. These rates are for travel on September 3.

“Some airlines are offering passengers special fares. Go Air is selling special tickets to passengers travelling from Kochi and Kannur. These tickets are priced at Dh750 to Dh800,” he added.

After Kerala, the second-highest prices are from Mumbai closely followed by Delhi.

“From Pakistan, Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad are all peak sector, especially since the rapid test problem has been resolved. Currently, the demand is very high, however, it should be regularized within a week or two,” stated Badekar.

2,000 messages on social media

Agents have said they receive an average of 2,000 messages on social media platforms, such as Facebook, seeking clarity regarding flight tickets. According to Badekar, one of the major problems’ passengers face is that airlines don’t have a unified SOP, making it confusing for those wishing to travel.

Malik Naseer, operations manager at Cozmo Travels, said, “Since the two announcements from UAE authorities, prices for air travel out of the sub-continent has been very high. A majority of those interested to travel are job seekers. The high prices may discourage them from travelling at the moment because they may not be able to afford it.”

However, Naseer said the market trends are looking extremely positive. “The load factor with airlines are also very good. All the flights are returning to the UAE full of passengers. It is also a good sign for future bookings.”

Opportunities amid Expo 2020

For job seekers, the opportunities they may be able to find in Expo 2020 is one of the primary reasons for high interest in travel.

Rashid Abbas, the managing director of Arooha Travels, said, “Demand for travel into Dubai is the highest in comparison to airports in the other Emirates. The rules are flexible and people who suffered unemployment from April-July want to come here and try their chances.” Abbas also said the demand for visit visas are very high. “We are applying for at least 500 visit visas every day,” he added.

Sudheesh TP, the general manager of Deira Tours and Travels, said, “Room prices for hotels in Dubai have also increased, however, not substantially. I suspect the rates may go higher in the coming days. UAE is being seen as a land of opportunities and excitement. Travellers are viewing the country as a safe haven against Covid-19 as well.”

“Tour operators from India are launching attractive packages for tourists from India, especially since they have been out of business since March 2020”, he added.

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com

author

Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for over ten years. For Khaleej Times, she covers NRI affairs, civil aviation, and immigration issues among other things. She completed her BA in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008 and is currently pursuing her MA in Leadership and Innovation in Contemporary Media at the American University in Dubai. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves food, and is mom to an over-enthusiastic Labrador retriever. Tweet at her @shootsprintrite.





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