Safe to travel? UAE residents adopt ‘wait-and-watch’ approach after Iran's attack on Israel

Some travellers were stranded on Sunday due to flight cancellations soon after Iran launched the attack


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Mon 15 Apr 2024, 7:51 PM

Last updated: Mon 15 Apr 2024, 11:21 PM

Residents in UAE are calling travel agents to inquire whether it’s safe to travel amidst growing tension after Iran attacked Israel.

However, travel agents said there are no booking cancellations by passengers and businesses in the UAE due to the conflict as they adopt a “wait-and-wait” approach about their travel plans.

Travel agents told Khaleej Times that inquiries are mainly coming from UAE travellers who plan to travel to Georgia, Armenia and other European destinations in the coming days due to their concerns about flight cancellations.

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In addition to UAE, many airlines cancelled, rerouted and rescheduled flights on Saturday and Sunday after Iran attacked Israel with 300 drones and missiles in response to Israel’s bombardment of the Iranian embassy in Syria.

Some travellers were stranded on Sunday due to flight cancellations soon after Iran launched the attack.

“A lot of families and groups going to Europe, Georgia and other neighbouring countries are calling and asking whether it is safe to travel now,” said Reena Philip, general manager, for AirTravel Enterprises, Dubai.

She added that some of the airlines are allowing free-of-charge transfer of travel dates, but they not offering to refund the money as airspace has been reopened by all the regional countries and airlines are operating back to normal schedule.

Avinash Adnani, managing director of Pluto Travels, also confirmed that people are inquiring whether it’s safe to travel these days despite airspaces being reopened and airlines having resumed normal scheduled operations. “It is better to check with travel agents and airlines before travelling because airlines keep updating through emails, websites and social media.”

He said people are taking a “wait-and-watch” approach who are looking to fly into the Middle East region. “If there is no escalation in the Iran-Israel conflict for another week, things will be back to normal,” he said.

Subair Thekepurathvalappil, a travel industry executive in Dubai, said there was not much travel to Jordan because it’s hot weather there so they prefer cooler climate.


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