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Experts in the travel industry in UAE are reporting at least a 10 per cent rise in economy class airfare to London. This comes after the Heathrow airport imposed caps on passenger numbers to deal with the summer rush.

“There is a slight increase in prices that we have witnessed on all airlines flying from the UAE to UK,” said Rashida Zahid, VP of Operations at Musafir.com. “The price increase is mainly on economy class airfare. First and business class airfare have more or less remained the same.”

London's Heathrow Airport (LHR) on Tuesday, for the first time ever, capped the number of departing passengers at 100,000 a day. This move came as it struggles to cope with a surge in travel, this summer. It has told airlines to stop selling tickets over the next two months in the face of baggage delays and lengthy queues.

Other travel agencies are also seeing similar increases in prices on flights to London. “With the new restrictions in place, the ticket prices into Heathrow have gone up slightly,” said a spokesperson from Deira travels.

“We are getting a lot of enquiries for London, especially as there are several important events happening there, this summer,” said Malik Bedekar, Operations Manager of Smart Travel. “We have seen a slight but steady increase in rates for flights to and from Britain since the limits have been imposed.”

Some other trends are also emerging with passengers rerouting and changing their travel dates and destinations. Earlier, Dubai residents had spoken to Khaleej Times about flying into different airports in Britain to avoid the rush and chaos at LHR.

“Most passengers are calling in to reconfirm their flights status or change their dates of travel based on the availability of tickets,” said Musafir.com’s Rashida Zahid. “There has been a slight shift in people booking their flight to airports other than Heathrow, depending on the reason for travel. Leisure customers are taking advantage of the flexibility that airlines are offering while business passengers are choosing to stick with their original plans.”

On Thursday, in a strongly-worded statement, Dubai-based Emirates Airlines rejected the demands to cut capacity, calling it “unreasonable and unacceptable”.

“With blatant disregard for consumers, they wish to force Emirates to deny seats to tens of thousands of travellers who have paid for, and booked months ahead, their long-awaited package holidays or trips to see their loved ones. And this, during the super peak period with the upcoming UK holidays, and at a time when many people are desperate to travel after two years of pandemic restrictions,” the airline said.

Earlier Abu-Dhabi based Etihad airways had preponed one flight scheduled for July 14 to avoid having to cancel it.

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