Demand surge and capacity constraints have, however, led to airfares on the India-Dubai sector increasing by over 50 percent for economy class and over 250 percent for business in some airlines
Senior executives at leading travel services firms in India have confirmed the upsurge in demand for travel between India and the UAE.
Travel between India and the UAE has seen a sharp rise in recent weeks, fuelled by easing of travel restrictions and a combonation of popular events – Indian Premier League (IPL), T-20 Cricket World Cup and Expo 2020 Dubai – with travel services firms reporting a whopping jump of 75 percent in bookings and airlines seeing almost full passenger loads.
The surge in demand and capacity constraints has, however, led to airfares on the India-Dubai sector soaring by over 50 percent for economy class and over 250 percent for business in airlines, travel industry executives said.
“Travel has increased sharply from India to the UAE since fans are allowed to watch IPL matches at the stadium. Our daily bookings have risen by nearly 75 percent for the month of September in comparison to previous months, after a challenging year,” Atish Thapa, business head – Middle East at Cleartrip, told Arabian Business.
“It is clear that more people are expressing confidence in their travel plans, which is expected to spur a recovery in travel,” said the senior executive of Cleartrip, a leading online travel aggregator operating in the Middle East and India.
Senior executives at leading travel services firms in India have also confirmed the upsurge in demand for travel between India and the UAE, especially to Dubai, after the resumption of flight services and the UAE authorities’ move to allow tourist travel to the country.
Travel has increased sharply from India to the UAE since fans are allowed to watch IPL matches at the stadium.
“The fact that airlines like Emirates have completely sold out economy class tickets for routes such as Mumbai-Dubai for October shows the demand for travel currently,” Amit Udani, executive director at Fly Aerolink Travel, a leading Mumbai-based travel services agency, told Arabian Business.
“IPL and T-20 World Cup matches are mainly seen as driving the current demand for travel to the UAE, with people seen buying tickets for the India-Pakistan match in the T-20 World Cup for as high as $2,000-$3,000,” Udani said.
Travel industry executives said the sector is currently facing a major supply problem as there are still restrictions on the number of flights allowed per airline for operations between India and the UAE as these flights are operating under the bilateral air bubble agreement.
“For instance, Emirates, which used to operate five daily flights to Dubai from Mumbai earlier, currently has only two flights daily. Most of the Indian carriers operate only single flights daily to Dubai. This is leading to a major increase in airfares,” Udani said.
Emirates, which used to operate five daily flights to Dubai from Mumbai earlier, currently has only two flights daily.
Thapa added: “The India-UAE route has been plagued by capacity constraints which have resulted in much higher prices. Fares from India to the UAE have risen by 49 percent in recent weeks.”
Industry executives said the economy class tickets to Dubai from most Indian cities are priced in the range of $472-$540, while a two-way business class ticket on carriers like Emirates could cost up to $2,700 now, from the earlier level of $1,080. A Mumbai-Dubai business class ticket on Indian carriers is also priced around $1,200.
In addition to the airfare, a passenger from India to the UAE has to take the RT-PCR tests five times for a return journey, including a rapid RT-PCR test 4-6 hours before departure, with the tests costing a total of about $200.
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