Airfares in the UAE, and globally, could go up due to a shortage of number of seats. Several local and global airlines are facing delays in deliveries of new aircraft from US manufacturer Boeing.

This could constrain airlines' capacity to increase the number of seats during summer, which is one of the busiest seasons for air travel.

Demand for travel increases substantially during summer, when a lot of expatriate residents in the UAE fly back to their home countries as well as travel to cooler destinations in Europe. This results in an uptick in airfares to certain destinations during this period.

“Summer is the peak as people travel out of the region to escape the heat. We also do a reasonable amount of inbound but summer is mainly in the other direction," said Ross Veitch, chief executive officer and co-founder of Wego, a flight booking app.

"There is a certain number of visits for Dubai summer events and different festivals. This year, anybody who is thinking of travel should book soon as there are a few supply constraints on the air side. Some of the big airlines in the region had their deliveries slightly delayed so there could be capacity constraints. There is going to be a rise in prices in summer,” Veitch added.

He expects that airfares will increase across the globe, but it might not be as big an increase as last year. The previous year had seen aircraft being parked in the desert, and being renovated to be brought back into circulation. Pilots were also sitting in flight simulators to get certified again.

Both European maker Airbus and US manufacturer Boeing have been witnessing delays in deliveries of new aircraft. In February, Airbus reportedly pushed back some deliveries scheduled for delivery in late 2024 and 2025 by several months.

“Most of the airlines have worked through those bottlenecks, so it may not be as bad as last year, but my advice is to book now,” Veitch said.

Top executives at Emirates have said that they were not happy with Boeing for the delays in the deliveries as it is impacting their expansion to new routes as well as refurbishment of the existing fleet.

Demand for popular holiday destinations is witnessing a massive increase.

dnata Travel on Wednesday revealed that Thailand, Maldives, USA, Turkey, and the UK are the most popular holiday destinations from the UAE residents' perspective during summer 2024.

The Maldives is witnessing significant growth with bookings up by 108 per cent between June and September 2024 as compared to the same period last year, mainly due to a number of hotel openings.

The USA is also witnessing a substantial growth in travel bookings from the UAE, entering the ‘top three’ most popular locations for summer break for local travellers this year.

“UAE-based travellers are exploring more of the world, including a variety of new locations across popular hotspots. Between 2020 and 2024, several new resorts have brought more to discover across the islands of the Maldives, and this year our travellers are making the most of trying somewhere new," said Meerah Ketait, head of retail and leisure UAE at dnata Travel.

"Other, ever-popular destinations such as Thailand, Turkey, and the UK, are also seeing travellers taking in more across their varied landscapes and attractions, whilst the USA is an exciting new entry for 2024. Travellers are moving across the country, with the cities of Los Angeles and New York proving most popular," Ketait added.

Across the summer so far, 65 per cent of bookings with dnata Travel are for international destinations, while the remaining 35 per cent cover UAE staycations.

Most bookings are for Eid al-Adha, where dnata Travel is witnessing a 40 per cent increase in travel bookings, compared to the wider summer months.

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