UAE-UK flights: Travel 'very difficult' this summer, ticket prices in August cost up to Dh19,000

Fares are among the highest, travel industry expert says


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Tue 19 Jul 2022, 10:48 AM

Last updated: Tue 19 Jul 2022, 10:36 PM

Travelling from the UAE to UK this summer is "very difficult", with current airfares for a return flight from London soaring to new highs, industry experts have said.

"The fares are on the higher side," said Fardan Haneef, spokesperson for Deira Travels. “A return flight from London to Dubai in mid-August will cost you upwards of Dh19,000.”

One of the biggest issues travellers face is finding tickets.

“Apart from some last-minute cancellations, tickets from London are very hard to find,” said Mir Raja Wasim, manager MICE and holidays Galadari International Travel Services. “In many cases economy class tickets are completely sold out and only business or first-class tickets are available.”

Other industry experts confirmed that going to the UK is extremely hard at the moment. “Travelling to UK, this summer will be heavy on pockets with flights, hotels & apartments getting expensive,” said Rashida Zahid, VP-Operations, “The price increase can be attributed to fuel increase, demand to travel and Heathrow capping of passengers.”

Heathrow caps

Last week, London's Heathrow Airport (LHR), for the first time ever, capped the number of departing passengers at 100,000 a day and told airlines to stop selling tickets over the next two months. The move came as it struggles to cope with baggage delays and lengthy queues.

After two years of travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, UK has seen a surge in travellers this summer. However, the aviation industry in the country is struggling to recruit manpower, partly due to its departure from the EU and partly because employees are demanding higher pay in the face of soaring inflation.

Meanwhile John Holland-Kaye, the chief executive of Heathrow airport has been given an ultimatum to resolve the airport’s staffing problems, according to UK media reports.

Other factors

However, capacity limits at the airport is just one of multiple factors affecting travel plans of Emiratis and expats to the UK. Lots of people have or will cancel their plans due to airfares and visa delays.

Residents have been experiencing visa delays due to multiple factors including significantly higher demand for travel.

Summer travel is at its peak from the UAE as schools are off for two months. With all that's affecting the UAE-UK travel sector, just how difficult is it to go there?

“Very difficult,” said travel expert Fardan. “The airfare is extremely high, even compared to 2019. A lot of airlines are jacking up their prices to make up for the losses of the last two years. I would say the prices are some of the highest I have seen in a long time.”

Heat Wave

In addition to the travel chaos, a record-breaking heat wave sweeping across Europe has prompted the British government to declare a national emergency as well.

On Monday Britain's Luton airport was forced to suspend flights after detecting a runway defect caused by hot weather. "Following today's high temperatures, a surface defect was identified on the runway. Engineers were called immediately to site and repair works are currently in progress to resume operations as soon as possible," the airport had said in a statement on Twitter.

The heat wave has also forced the cancellation of hundreds of trains, as temperatures inch close to the hottest temperature ever recorded in the country in 2019. According to officials, the rail and airport systems are not designed to handle such high heats in a usually mild-weathered UK.


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