Airfares to popular destinations including the Indian subcontinent, GCC, UK, and Egypt are projected to increase even more in the upcoming months before the summer school holidays.
Industry experts in the travel sector have observed that airfares began to increase starting in February and March, particularly to Asia, the Middle East, and the UK, as individuals began to plan their vacations well in advance.
Experts have indicated that fares to renowned destinations, such as London, are expected to increase twofold during peak summer travel days, especially coinciding with the Eid Al Adha celebrations at the end of June.
Over the last year, inbound and outbound travel and tourism from the UAE have experienced exponential growth as residents look to travel more frequently; however, airlines are still grappling with capacity constraints.
Air India has increased its flights on the UAE route for the summer season, providing temporary stability on certain days. Travel demand surges during summer holidays when schools are closed, causing airfares to increase substantially. Indian curriculum schools usually close in the first week of July, while British schools are closed from June until the last week of August or the first week of September.
Sunil Panwar, the Director of Business Development at Rayna Tourism, has reported a rise of up to 40% in airfares across various airlines, particularly on routes to India, Pakistan, Egypt, and the United Kingdom. Short-haul destinations frequently visited by residents also experience a surge in airfares during this time.
Short-haul destinations, including East European and CIS countries, have been popular choices for UAE residents looking for travel and tourism opportunities in recent years. For instance, during the summer, airfares to India on budget airlines, which usually cost around Dh1,200, have risen to Dh1,800-2,000. Meanwhile, full-fledged carriers have raised their fares from Dh2,500 to Dh3,300. According to Panwar, airfares to London double during the school summer breaks.
According to Raheesh Babu, COO of Musafir.com, airfares on routes to the Indian Sub-continent and Europe started increasing from February-March onwards as Eid falls at the beginning of the vacation, which may cause schools to close early this year. He also noted that prices to all destinations have already increased, with the average rate rising from Dh1,500 in February-March to Dh2,500, and sometimes doubling.
Babu noted that airlines are taking advantage of the high demand and limited capacity during summer travel, resulting in rising airfares. He mentioned that there is also increased traffic to South India due to the Onam festival in August, which is contributing to the high prices until the first week of September. While rates are currently stable, he anticipates them to increase after mid-June. Additionally, he observed that airfares to Middle East sectors such as GCC countries, Jordan, and Egypt are also seeing a hike.
According to Avinash Adnani, who is the managing director of Pluto Travels, airfares to India are currently stable due to the addition of more flights by carriers. However, he noted that airfares rise significantly after August 15th till September 5th as many people return to the UAE. He also mentioned that departures starting from July 20th and returning before August 5th are comparatively cheaper.
News Source: Khaleej Times