Airfares have increased by 20-40 per cent this summer depending on the destination, according to travel agents.
Mohammad Al Sawa, managing director of Flash Tours, told Gulf News that the rise was normal “as many expatriates are looking to have summer vacations in their homelands. The demand has hiked prices of tickets.”
He added that the most preferred destinations  experiencing the maximum airfare increase include Switzerland, Germany, France, UK, Turkey, Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore.
Another travel agent, Alaa Al Ali, managing director of Nirvana Travel Agency, confirmed there is a rise in airfares this summer. “In addition to these destinations, there are other new ones such as Spain and Japan,” he said.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council  (WTTC) estimates, the UAE outbound expenditure on travel and tourism is expected to increase by five per cent this year to reach Dh72.7 billion.
Meawhile, Abu Dhabi airport will receive 15 per cent more weekly flights this summer, according to the Abu Dhabi Airports Company ( Adac). Abu Dhabi International Airport will receive 1,065 flights per week during the summer months this year, up 15 per cent from the 956 weekly flights it received in the 2012 summer months, the airport body said in a statement on Sunday.
Adac added that the number of weekly seats available will also increase to 32,004, marking an 11 per cent jump compared to the 28,751 seats available each week during summer last year.
“The increased flight frequency inbound and outbound demonstrates the trust airlines have in the attractiveness of Abu Dhabi as a business and tourist destination ,” Ahmad Al Haddabi, COO of ADAC, said in a statement, adding that an increase of over 10 per cent in aircraft movements so far in 2013 also attests to Abu Dhabi’s growth towards becoming an international aviation hub .
By Shehab Al Makahleh