Air fares from India and Pakistan could double during peak summer holidays in July and August
Airfares to the Indian subcontinent are expected to double in July and August as demand for outbound travel peaks when many families travel to their home countries during the summer holidays.
Travel industry executives have said there is strong demand for travel during the summer holidays as it is the first summer break without Covid-19 restrictions in two years as travelers are not not required to perform negative PCR tests, obtain approval from the Director General of Residence and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) or the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security before returning to the UAE .
The drop in new coronavirus cases and the easing of travel restrictions have significantly improved traveler confidence. Many budget-conscious expat families in the UAE have not traveled to their home countries for the past two years, fearing that Covid-driven travel restrictions may be imposed again.
In June, air fares to India are around 1,500 Dh to 1,600 Dh, depending on the destination.
Travel industry executives have noted that fares to popular Indian cities could reach up to Dh3,000 during peak days shortly after the start of summer school holidays in the UAE.
“Flights to home countries are expensive while flying to Europe and the United States is a challenge. Airfares to popular destinations in India, Pakistan and other countries in the subcontinent India will see a sharp increase in the coming weeks as expat families increasingly fly back to their home countries,” said Avinash Adnani, Managing Director of Pluto Travels.
“Air fares to India are in the range of Dh2,000 to Dh2,200 for July and are expected to touch or exceed Dh3,000 during peak days in July and August. There is high demand during the Eid Al Adha in July,” Adnani added.
Mir Wasim Raja, Director, MICE and Holidays, Galadari International Travel Services, said airfares are very high for July and August and most seats are sold out, especially during the Eid Al Adha days of 8 to July 11.
“Air fares to Europe more than doubled during Eid. On the day the school holidays begin, airfares increase for the next seven to ten days as a large number of families fly to their home countries. Again, inbound airfares increase just before schools reopen as families return to the UAE in the last week of August,” Raja said.
Avinash Adnani said this is the first summer vacation after two years that all visa restrictions related to Covid-19 have been eased without the need for PCR tests, quarantine and prior approval from GDRFA or the ICA.
Najam-ul-Sheikh Saqib, a longtime resident of Dubai, said he had canceled plans for a summer vacation to visit Pakistan due to high fares. “As for plane tickets, we have a family of six and it is quite expensive. Therefore, we have decided that some of us will travel this summer and others during the winter holidays,” Saqib said.
Waseem Akhtar, a resident of the United Arab Emirates for 25 years, said he bought the plane ticket long before Eid Al Adha and managed to save some money. “But it still costs me a lot more than normal plane tickets.”