Dubai: Travelling to high-demand destinations in India and Pakistan for the Eid break will not come cheap as airfares make a strong recovery.
“All destinations have become expensive now, especially during Eid,” said Subair Thekkepurath Valappil, Senior Manager - Outbound Operations at Regal Tours.
The UK sector is also showing the full force of demand as the holiday break in early May comes closer.
If travelling in the week before Eid, flights from Dubai to New Delhi can cost between Dh500-Dh1,000, and to Mumbai can be Dh1,270. The South Indian city of Kochi is easily the most expensive destination with most airlines charging well over Dh1,000. An Emirates flight on April 29 is listing seats at more than Dh3,300.
Usual destinations aside, UAE’s residents are also keen to explore India’s tourist hubs. The ‘Golden Triangle’ – used by industry insiders to describe Delhi-Jaipur-Agra market travel packages – is in high demand, along with those to Goa. It is mostly Air India operating flights to Goa and tickets start from Dh1,000 for the last days of April.
The high fares on UAE-India sector are bound to continue, according to a spokesperson from Dubai Link Tours. “For this month, the average fare is about Dh720, but in May, there will be events like the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), which means demand for Dubai-bound seats will be high.” (The annual in-person event will take place from May 9-12 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.)
Flights from Dubai to Lahore cost between Dh700-Dh1,300, and those to Karachi at least Dh800, with some airlines charging around Dh1,800. A flight to the capital Islamabad is in the region of Dh1,400. The rise in fares is nominal compared to increases in the past when flight capacity was constrained due to COVID-19 restrictions. Fares to Lahore hit Dh6,000 ahead of last year’s Eid Al Adha break in July.
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Many UAE residents are also heading for their favorite tourist destinations in Europe, especially since several countries have dropped all PCR testing requirements and require passengers to produce proof of full vaccination along with a passenger locator form. “Europe has been very competitive of late and a majority of the embassies do not have an appointment until the last week of May,” said Valappil. “But people have started travelling and that's good.”