Airfares to popular destinations such as the Indian subcontinent, the UK, GCC and Egypt are set to jump further in the coming months ahead of the summer school holidays.
Travel industry executives noted that airfares started rising from February-March to Asia, the Middle East and the UK as people are now planning their vacations well ahead.
They noted that fares to popular cities such as London are set to double during the peak summer travel days, especially during Eid Al Adha, which will be celebrated at the end of June.
Inbound and outbound travel and tourism from the UAE has grown exponentially over the past year with residents looking to travel more, but airlines are still facing a capacity constraint.
Air India has added some flights on the UAE route during the summer, providing temporary stability on certain days.
Travel peaks during the summer holidays when schools are closed, pushing airfares substantially higher. During summer breaks, Indian curriculum schools are usually closed in the first week of July. Since Eid Al Adha is likely to fall on June 28, some schools may choose to close a week or so early. While British schools are closed from June onwards till the last week of August or 1st week of September.
Sunil Panwar, director for business development, Rayna Tourism, said there has been up to 40 per cent rise in airfares on different airlines.
“It is a time when there is a high demand so the prices go up mainly on India, Pakistan, Egypt and the United Kingdom routes. Short-haul destinations that are frequently visited by the residents also see a surge in airfares,” he said.
Over the past few years, short-haul destinations such as East European and CIS countries have been in top demand for travel and tourism among UAE residents.
Citing an example, he said airfares to India on budget airlines usually cost around Dh1,200 but have reached Dh1,800-2,000 in summer. While full-fledged carriers’ airfares rise from Dh2,500 to Dh3,300.
“Airfares to London double during the school summer breaks,” added Panwar.
Raheesh Babu, chief operating officer, Musafir.com, said people starting booking early for airfares started increasing from February-March onwards on the Indian Sub-continent and European routes because Eid is also falling at the beginning of the vacation, hence, schools may close early this year.
“Prices to all the destinations have already increased. For example, the average rate was Dh1,500 in February-March and now it stands at Dh2,500. And in some cases, it has doubled as well.”
He pointed out that rates are rising because there are no additional seats allocated during summer and airlines are making the most of this seasonal advantage and there is increased traffic to South India due to the Onam festival in August. “So prices are high till the first week of September.”
Babu added that rates are currently stable and expect them to start increasing after mid-June.
“Even Middle East sectors such as GCC countries, Jordan and Egypt are also seeing a hike in airfares,” he added.
Avinash Adnani, managing director of Pluto Travels, said airfares to India are steady at the moment as the carrier has added some more flights.
“Departures from 20th July and return before August 5th are comparatively cheaper. But the airfares are much higher after August 15th till September 5th as people return to the UAE.”
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