UAE-India flights: 'Drastic drop' in airfares due to new quarantine rule; tickets start from Dh250

Travel agents in Dubai said rates have almost halved


Waheed Abbas

Published: Sun 9 Jan 2022, 2:41 PM

Last updated: Wed 12 Jan 2022, 11:22 AM

Travel from the UAE to India has dropped drastically after the Indian government announced a seven-day home quarantine policy for all international travellers to help curb Omicron's spread in the country.

Due to the massive decline in travel between the two countries, travel agents in Dubai said airfares have almost halved, as families and business travellers from the UAE have cancelled their trips because they’re uncertain about their return to the UAE.

On Friday, India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare announced that all international passengers will have to quarantine for seven days upon arrival in India. Then, they will have to take another PCR test on the eighth day and upload the result on the Air Suvidha portal. The results would be monitored by the respective Indian States and Union Territories.

India’s Ministry of Health reported over 150,000 new Covid-19 cases for the second day on the trot on Sunday, while Omicron cases reached 3,623 in the South Asian country.

Avinash Adnani, managing director of Pluto Travels, said there has been a big impact on the UAE-India travel on both business and family passengers because it remains unclear whether UAE travellers can return a few days after landing in India.

“There is no clarity right now. If we travel to India for two days, we have to quarantine for seven days and on the eighth day, I have to do a PCR test and upload it. So, if we want to go and stay at home and sign a business paper and then want to come back after two days, the question is: Will the immigration authorities stop me at the airport? That needs clarity and that is a big challenge for travellers from the UAE. Business travellers and families want to go, but they are not very comfortable with this rule. So, people are cancelling their travel plans,” he said.

Following the introduction of the seven-day home quarantine rule, inbound tourism to India is also almost dead because foreign tourists wouldn’t quarantine in a hotel for seven days and then move on.

Mir Wasim Raja, manager, MICE and holidays, Galadari International Travel Services, said travellers from the UAE are in dilemma because due to lack of clarity of rules.


“We’ve got plenty of calls from people who want to go on a trip to India for two, three or four days, but they fear that they may get stuck there for a longer period,” he said.

Airfares plunge

Adnani said airfares from UAE to India have drastically dropped to around Dh250 because nobody wants to take the risk of travelling and getting stuck there.

“People have a fear of flights being closed again which is putting people off," he said. “One-way airfare from Sharjah to Delhi on January 19 costs Dh250. On the contrary, rates are still high from India to UAE because people want to come here.

"Honestly, the authorities should look into this because this is really impacting the travel sector, especially business travellers, as a lot of people from the UAE go to India for a two-to-four-day trip,” added Adnani.

He suggested that it’s perfectly fine if the Indian government requires all international passengers to quarantine until they get the report of the Covid-19 PCR test taken at Indian the airport.

More news from Travel