Iran-Israel conflict: UAE travel agencies field 'frantic' calls from passengers flying after Eid break

Travel agencies in the country have had a busy weekend rescheduling flights and ensuring the safety of their passengers


Nasreen Abdulla


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Sun 14 Apr 2024, 6:26 PM

Last updated: Sun 14 Apr 2024, 11:19 PM

Some passengers who were scheduled to fly back after the Eid Al Fitr holidays were stranded due to the cancellation of some flights after Iran launched a drone and missile attack against Israel on early Sunday.

The UAE-based travel agencies have had a busy weekend rescheduling flights and ensuring the safety of their passengers after Iran’s drone and missile attack on Israel forced several countries to shut down their airspace. Some flights were cancelled, while others were rerouted or diverted as the crisis unfolded late early Sunday.

For Dubai-based Smart Travels, the closure has brought with it a variety of issues.

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“We had a passenger who was due to fly from Doha to Amman late yesterday. His flight was diverted and landed back in Doha so he was unable to travel,” said Safeer Mahamood, general manager at Smart Travels.

Some of UAE's residents had a nine-day long break during Eid Al Fitr and they opted to vacation abroad to short-haul destinations.

“We have a group of 25 people travelling to Amman later this month… We have been getting frantic calls since morning about the status of that trip. Since this is a developing situation, we are still monitoring it and waiting for updates,” he added.

Another travel agency reported similar troubles. “We had a corporate group travelling on a company holiday,” said Fardan Hanif, director of “They were en route to their destination when their plane landed at Istanbul airport. They had to cancel their trip and are now on their way back to Dubai.”

Avinash Adnani, managing director of Pluto Travels, said the situation and real impact of the Iran-Israel conflict will be clearer by tomorrow evening when businesses resume and people take a call on their travel plans.

“Some flights were cancelled and rerouted. But it’s more of an operational problem as of now. Airspaces were closed in a couple of countries and they were also reopened later. We’ll come to know by Monday evening whether people are cancelling or rescheduling their tickets,” he added.

Reena Philip, general manager for AirTravel Enterprises, Dubai, said they are also getting calls from people, asking about flight cancellations. But there is no official statement sent to travel agencies by airlines as there has been a week-long holiday during the past week in the UAE.

Philip expects some cancellations or rescheduling of family trips in the coming days as people will not travel to or fly past destinations that are closer to a war zone.

“We do have groups and packages to Georgia and Armenia etc. So we’ll come to know in the coming days,” she said.


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