Travel between the UAE and India is picking up because of a slight uptick in tourism, as well as the return of people who had either lost their jobs or were on leave because of the Covid-19 pandemic, travel industry executives said.
In addition, the UAE and Indian airlines have increased frequencies, and airfares have been very competitive as economies slowly and steadily open up.
Avinash Adnani, managing director of Pluto Travels, said the UAE travel sector is seeing some movement overall as corporate travel has picked up a little bit.
"We are seeing 20-30 per cent surge in corporate travel. However, people are still scared of travelling, and more than that a lot of countries are still closed. That is impacting the full recovery. Otherwise, things are getting better and we hope it will improve further by January," he added.
Muhammad Jaffar, business development manager for Al Awal Tourism, also confirmed that there is a pick-up in air travel activity on the India route.
"After December-January, there will be further increase in air travel because ultimately people will have to travel for their corporate work and personal reasons. So it is bound to pick up in the months ahead," he added.
Pent-up demand in India sector
Adnani said the India route is seeing movement because a lot of people are bringing their parents here and many of them have not been able to travel since the outbreak of the pandemic here.
"Airlines including Emirates, Indigo and Vistara have increased frequencies. There is a little bit of tourism on the India route but people are still scared of taking so many coronavirus tests," added Adnani.
Drop in airfare post-Diwali
Adnani added that people are finding it affordable to travel as Dubai-Mumbai one-way airfare was averaging Dh560 during Diwali festival. But fares will drop around 20 per cent to Dh400-Dh450 a week after the festival.
“India’s decision to exempt international travellers from institutional quarantine has made a big difference and helped the air travel industry,” he added.
Muhammad Jaffar said airfare on India routes have dropped quite substantially over the last few months, falling from Dh1,000 during the peak of Covid-19 to around Dh400. “We see airfares dropping further in post-Diwali period as most of the non-resident Indians have completed their travel plans,” said Jaffar.
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