Coronavirus Pandemic

With more flights from UAE to India, ticket sale sees a surge

Ashwani Kumar /Abu Dhabi Filed on July 15, 2020 | Last updated on July 16, 2020 at 09.03 am
Vande Bharat Mission, special flights, more flights, UAE to India, ticket sale, surge
Indian expats at the Air India Express ticketing office that has temporarily moved operations to India Social and Cultural Centre (ISC) in Al Mina, Abu Dhabi.

(Photo: Ryan Lim/Khaleej Times)

P.H. Hari, sales manager at Arabian Travel Agency, said they are working without a break for more than a month.

With more special flights operating in the fourth phase of Vande Bharat Mission from the UAE to India, the number of people at the ticket booking office in Abu Dhabi has swelled. Till Tuesday afternoon, a total of 51 flights are announced for this month from Abu Dhabi, much more than June.

The Air India Express office in Abu Dhabi has seen the number of tokens issued to people jump from 350 per day to 450 within a week of temporarily moving its operations to the India Social and Cultural Centre (ISC).

Working without off days

P.H. Hari, sales manager, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain region, Arabian Travel Agency, said they are working without a break for more than a month.

"On average we have between 350 and 400 customers but it's increasing. The number hit 454 two days back. We have six staff issuing tickets at the counter. We have another two staff collecting details and cash or card from the passengers at the counters. We are open daily from 9am till the last passenger is issued ticket. None of the staff has off days for more than a month. But with so many stranded people, we have to act responsibly."

Hari urged people to register with missions and come to the ISC with either original passport or printed copy of passport, and money to book ticket.

"There are more flights than last month. So, none will return disappointed."

Safety measures at booking centre

Arabian Travel Agency, the general sales agent of Air India Express, faced heavy rush since the opening of direct sale of tickets from June 28 and shifted the operations to the ISC on July 10.

The ISC has got elaborate measures in place to handle the crowd with exclusive entry and exit points, security guards at dedicated gate, token system to manage rush, automated temperature checking system, seating arrangement for 120 people, additional chairs and separate line for women.

ISC president Yogish Prabhu said the smooth functioning shows the cohesion between public and private entities.

"We have community police personnel and patrol vans, and VPS Healthcare's LLH Hospital is offering medical checkups outside the main hall." 


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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