Airfares skyrocket as UAE opens borders, regulator asks passengers to check rates on airline websites

Airfares had peaked well ahead of the festival season. Since there is a demand for tickets, airlines are exploiting the situation in name of market dynamics, said Babu Paul, head of Speedwing Tours

Published: 11th August 2021 02:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th August 2021 09:49 AM   |  A+A-

Flight

For representational purposes

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Soon after the UAE opened its borders for the Indian diaspora, airline companies jacked up the ticket fares six- to seven-fold on main routes.

Further, the popular flight ticket booking sites quote the highest fares for tickets even on transit flights. As the issue became grave, the aviation regulator asked the international air passengers to book tickets preferably from the websites of airlines as the search engines at times do not reflect actual prices.

According to MakeMyTrip, a ticket on Indigo or Etihad flight to Abu Dhabi on Thursday will cost the passenger Rs 72,264 even as the journey will take 20 hours.

Another connecting flight by Indigo to the same destination via Mumbai and Kochi as on Thursday will cost Rs 41,502 for a journey that will take 37 hours and 10 minutes.

Similarly, a Qatar Airways flight to Kochi from Abu Dhabi via Doha will cost the passenger Rs 1,57,559, while a direct flight to Kochi by Etihad from Abu Dhabi costs the passenger Rs 58,993 on Thursday.

Similarly, flights on most of these routes have started charging exorbitant rates from passengers since the travel restrictions were eased by UAE authorities.

If this is the situation ahead of Onam which is hardly two weeks away, the expats' plans to reach home for the occasion will be a costly affair.

Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has issued an advisory asking passengers traveling to international destinations to check the fares preferably on the websites of the airlines concerned as the meta-search engines at times do not reflect the actual point-to-point fare and do make combinations of multiple airlines and show an exaggerated figure.

IATA Agents Association of India national president Biji Eapen said, "The DGCA's advisory is mainly related to transit flight tickets offered jointly by two airlines in which the ticket fares of both airlines are combined showing an unbelievably exaggerated price. But the prices in general on the West Asia routes are ruling high after the UAE opened its borders."

The airfares had peaked well ahead of the festival season. Since there is a demand for tickets, airlines are exploiting the situation in the name of market dynamics, said Babu Paul, head of Speedwing Tours.

"When the complete lockdown was in force in Kerala, a private chartered flight arrived in Kochi from the UAE with 19 passengers. Each passenger had to pay Rs 3.5 lakh per seat. Despite the restrictions being eased, there is no significant change in the industry and the government has not taken any decisive steps to stop the fleecing of passengers hit by the Covid impact," he added. 

Airfares on India-UAE routes (in Rs as on Tuesday)

  • Kochi-Dubai on August 12.

  • Air India Express: 31,111.

  • Air Arabia: 33,526 (non-refundable).

  • Indigo: 34,868.

  • Emirates: 61,564.

  • Etihad: 79,280.

Return direction on August 12

  • Qatar Airways: 46,749.

  • Emirates: 49,678.

Kochi-Abu Dhabi on August 12

  • Air Asia-Indigo: 45,892.

  • Indigo: 43,898.

  • Go First-Indigo: 45,291.

  • Etihad: 67,525.

  • SpiceJet-Etihad: 84,660.

  • Vistara-Etihad: 92,228.

Return direction on August 12

  • Etihad: 58,933.

  • Qatar Airways: 1,57,559.

  • Emirates-Vistara: 46,443.

Source: MakeMyTrip.



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