UAE travel: Air fares could become cheaper in coming weeks

Expected Hijri holiday may lead to price surge in specific sectors

by

Nandini Sircar

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emirates, dubai airports, dxb, coronavirus, covid19
emirates, dubai airports, dxb, coronavirus, covid19

Published: Fri 7 Jul 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 9 Jul 2023, 4:31 PM

Travel agents in the UAE have indicated that there could be a decline in airfares in the upcoming weeks.

They say this is driven by the fact that the initial summer rush has subsided, although certain sectors might experience higher prices due to the approaching Hijri holiday.


According to the online travel agency Skyscanner, the first two weeks of the school holidays are the most popular time to travel, but it is also the most expensive. “Skyscanner’s data shows that on average, travellers can save 10 per cent by travelling the week of August 19 versus the start of July, meaning an average saving of Dh760 for a family of four.”

Speaking to Khaleej Times, T.P. Sudheesh, General Manager, Deira Travel and Tourist Agency said: “Historically, prices start going down from the second week of July. That’s always been the forecast and it’s backed by past data as well. Ticket prices are dictated by market demands. After the initial summer rush, the prices go down. I would say the peak this year is from 20 June to 15 July. So, after the seasonal rush subsides, the ticket prices will again rise from 20 August to 10 September. That’s because around 29 August is Onam and schools will also reopen around that time. So, inbound rush would increase not only from the subcontinent to the UAE, but also European expats will return to the country.”


Anticipating the exception, Sudheesh adds: “Countries like Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia among a few other countries may see traffic and prices to these destinations may not go down. The people who are not travelling to their home countries may consider going for a holiday for three to four days to these neighbouring countries. That’s because around the third week of July we’ll have the Hijri New Year but then again whether it will be a public holiday or not, we don’t know yet. If it is declared to be a public holiday, then people could get a slightly extended break around that time and may want to travel to these countries which offer visa on arrival options and needless to say these countries are fairly close to the UAE.”

As the much-awaited Eid Al Adha holidays approached, residents who made last minute travel plans saw exorbitant increases in airfares.

Research conducted by online travel agency Skyscanner revealed that 91 per cent UAE travellers decided to get away this summer; however, nearly half (48 per cent) are yet to book their holidays.

According to the company, only 4 percent of UAE travelers are actively seeking out deals for trips during what the company called the “cheapest week of summer”.

Raja Mir Wasim, Manager, International Travel Services, said: “Prices are directly linked to demand and supply. Last week the demand was high due to the Eid holidays with lots of people looking to travel. Thus, prices increased initially. But from next week onwards the price fluctuation is likely to stabilize, and more fare options will hopefully be available.”

“Even first class and business class were full up until (early) this week. But prices will normalize soon as that holiday rush will go down for some time in between,” he added.

But Reena Philip, General Manager, AirTravel Enterprises, is of a slightly different opinion as she says early signs do not indicate this happening anytime soon.

Philip said, “I think it will take some time before the airfares go down. I checked a few days ago to a destination in India but frankly it still hasn’t gone down. Usually, we do see a price drop after the initial seasonal rush, but so far it still hasn’t happened. So, we can only wait and watch.”

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