Dubai: Airline ticket prices on the India-UAE sector are not falling as demand continues for ongoing T20 Cricket World Cup matches as well as Expo 2020.
Flights from New Delhi to Dubai cost between Dh800 and Dh1500, while some flights from Mumbai to here cost Dh2000 and above. Travel agents say the rise in ticket prices is in part the result of India’s bubble deal with the United Arab Emirates, which limits the number of flights operated on the route. (Since the pandemic began last year, India has operated flights under “air bubble” agreements, giving the country’s airlines an advantage.)
“Once the regular flights open, the prices of plane tickets could go down,” said the spokesperson for a UAE-based travel agency. So far, the number of flights deployed on the route is far from the levels seen earlier this year. Flights came to a complete stop in April when the United Arab Emirates suspended travel from India and several other countries due to a second peak in COVID-19 cases.
The United Arab Emirates-India route, which was the world’s second largest aviation sector in March in terms of seats, is no longer in the Top 10, according to data from British consulting firm OAG.
Even though the restrictions are hurting airlines and passengers, demand is still high. A survey conducted by the online booking site MakeMyTrip showed that around 87% of respondents, aged 30 to 35, were more enthusiastic about traveling abroad before the end of the year.
Mumbai – India’s second largest airport – sees most of its international passengers heading to destinations such as Mauritius, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha, Seychelles and Male. “Even though the pandemic has halted the momentum of the travel industry, recent months have shown an upward trend in the number of passengers opting for international leisure travel through Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA) “said the airport.
Between July and September, the CSMIA saw more than 288,860 passengers traveling abroad for pleasure travel, up almost 220% from the same period in 2020. Dubai and Doha continued to be topped the rankings with a passenger influx of approximately 108,060 and 104,390 passengers, respectively. . This was followed by Male, who saw around 57,400 passengers entering and exiting the CSMIA.
In a recent interview with the Center for Aviation (CAPA), Indigo CEO Rono Dutta said international traffic for India’s largest low-cost carrier has increased since opening major destinations like Doha, Dubai and Sharjah. âMy next push is to get Saudi Arabia and Thailand – these are important markets for us again,â Dutta said.
Charter flights are doing well
Although regular commercial flights are back, charter flights have also seen a significant increase in demand. Mumbai Airport said around 300,000 passengers opted for chartered flights between July and September. Qatar Airways, Indigo and Emirates welcomed the largest number of passengers with 75,637, 68,062 and 52,699 respectively.
Besides the increase in traffic, new roads are also opening up to meet the increased demand. Go First, formerly known as GoAir, has announced that it will operate four flights per week between Srinagar and Sharjah.
“We are delighted to be the first airline to connect Jammu and Kashmir with the United Arab Emirates and it demonstrates our commitment to the region,” Kaushik Khona, CEO of Go First, said in a statement. “We believe this connectivity will be essential in bilateral trade and tourism between the two regions.”
Expo and World Cup
âWhy would I go back to India, all of India is already there for the World Cup,â said a founder of a large Indian startup.
Thousands of cricket fans have already landed in the UAE for the T20 World Cup, which runs until November 14. Expo 2020 also attracted tourists, businessmen and organizers from all over. According to the General Directorate of Residence and Foreign Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA), 477,101 passengers arrived in Dubai between September 30 and October 10.