Airline ticket rates from India to the UAE skyrocketed up to Dh6,000 (Rs120,000) on Friday ahead of an inbound travel suspension that will come into effect on Saturday.
The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) announced the suspension of all inbound flights for national and international carriers from India to the UAE from 11.59pm on April 24.
The flight ticket rates shot up as the suspension was announced and many passengers are ready to shelve out a lot extra for a ticket.
Shaik Shibli, head of marketing and communications at ITL World, said there was a huge demand for tickets on Kochi-Dubai flights. For the last few seats, the price shot up to Dh6,000.”
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Bharat, managing partner, Pluto Travels, added: “We have been facing a tight situation since the suspension was announced. The ticket fare skyrocketed, and travellers are ready to pay even Dh2,500 for one-way ticket. Most flights from the Indian cities are fully booked and we have been trying to get tickets for our clients,”
Some airlines have managed to add extra flights to meet the high demand while travel agents started planning charter flights from many Indian cities to Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.
Taha Siddique, owner of Siddique Travels, said: “Many UAE residents are on vacation and I have been contacted to book ticket for their return journey irrespective of the ticket fare. Considering a very high demand in Mangalore-Dubai sector, an extra flight has been added by an Indian low budget airline on April 24.”
Shaik Shibli said on an average, more than 40,000 passengers arrive in Dubai from India on weekends. And this week, about 50,000 passengers were expected.
Indian airports also saw passengers flooding to get a ticket to fly to Dubai or Sharjah.
Covid-testing centres also saw huge crowds as expats tried to get into the flights before the suspension came into effect. “There has been a huge rush at the covid testing centres in India. Passengers who have got tickets are willing to pay extra for the result in short duration. RT-PCR test results usually take about 12-15 hours,” a volunteer in who did not wish to be named.