UAE-India flights: Mumbai airfares to soar as 7-day quarantine is lifted

A spike of 20-25% on UAE-Mumbai routes expected in the coming weeks.



KT file
KT file
by

Waheed Abbas

Published: Mon 17 Jan 2022, 1:41 PM

Passenger traffic and airfares from UAE to Mumbai will increase in the coming week as people looking for quarantine-free travel to India are set to choose the state of Maharashtra.

It’s is expected that air passenger traffic will increase around 20-25 per cent in the coming weeks on the UAE-Mumbai corridor.

Maharashtra exempted seven-day quarantine for passengers travelling from the UAE from Monday, January 17. In addition, passengers arriving in Maharashtra are not required to take a PCR test on arrival at the airport.

India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had announced on January 7 that all international passengers must undergo mandatory seven-day home quarantine upon arrival in India.

“Yes, Maharashtra has opened up. People are relieved now. But tickets to Mumbai will become expensive because people will land in Mumbai and then travel to other cities. If somebody has to go for a business deal, wedding or an emergency, they can travel to Mumbai and from there they can take a direct flight to any other city,” said Avinash Adnani, managing director of Pluto Travels.

Passengers travelling from the UAE to Mumbai and then boarding the flight to any other city in India are not obliged, legally, to quarantine and take a PCR test on the eighth day, added Adnani.

“If people don’t want to take a chance (of getting stuck in India), then land in Mumbai and take a flight to Delhi, Bangalore or wherever. So you’re technically not obliged, legally, to home quarantine.”

Mir Wasim Raja, manager, MICE and holidays, Galadari International Travel Services, said many people who were hesitant to travel due to uncertainties surrounding their return to UAE can now opt for short trips to India.

“People were confused earlier but with the lifting of quarantine rules, I am sure more people will travel to India,” he added.

Raheesh Babu, group chief operating officer of Musafir.com, also termed it a very positive sign for the UAE-India travel corridor and suggested that the Indian government should follow the Maharashtra state. “It’s a good decision by Maharashtra state government because, in the UAE, almost all the people are vaccinated and many have even got booster shots also. This will boost the confidence level of UAE travellers because going to your home country and then quarantine for seven days is a little challenge.”

20-25% increase in passenger traffic

Babu expects a spike of 20-25 per cent on UAE-Mumbai routes in the coming weeks. “Mumbai is a hot destination from the UAE. I expect a 20-25 per cent increase in passenger traffic from the UAE to Mumbai. I hope other states will also follow because UAE is the safest country.”

Adnani pointed out that there is enough seat capacity on UAE-Mumbai routes because traffic is dampened due to the high number of Covid-19 cases in the South Asian country.

“Overall traffic to India is low due to the high number of Covid-19 cases. Overall, there is dampness and rates are as low as Dh250 from Sharjah to Mumbai. People who were not travelling due to quarantine will now travel to Mumbai because they were waiting for things to settle. A lot of people who want to go for business deals, weddings or emergencies will travel via Mumbai,” Adnani added.

waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com


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