Stock India airport passengers
By next week, the temporary ban on flights from India should have lifted. Airlines have already opened bookings ahead of the formal announcement. Image Credit: PTI

Dubai: First, the good news - UAE’s ban on flights from India is about to come to an end next week and it looks like airlines have already re-opened the bookings. That’s not the only good favourable outcome – fares have come down to normal levels after shooting as high as Dh32,000.

A one-way flight from New Delhi to Dubai on Emirates will cost around Dh1,785 after the resumption of normal services. Air India is the cheapest at around Dh404, while Vistara is charging about Dh514.

To get a seat on Emirates to travel from Mumbai to Dubai, passengers have to shell out a little over Dh900. Budget carrier Indigo will cost Dh723. At Dh399 a seat, Air India Express is the cheapest option. The least costly flight from Kochi is going for around Dh415, but some airlines are seen quoting Dh700 and above.

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Travel recovery

The ban on Indian flights further pushed back prospects of an international air travel recovery. International air travel was down nearly 90 per cent as of February, compared to 2019 levels. However, there was a rebound in March (this was before suspension of services to and from India imposed by several countries), said the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

“With new cases of the virus, we've actually seen a deterioration in key parts of the world, particularly in Europe, but also Latin America,” said Brian Pearce, IATA’s Chief Economist, during a virtual event on Tuesday.

“We've got India, where we've seen the new variants of the virus prove resistant to the control measures that had earlier been bringing cases down.”

Jordan has become the latest country to suspend passenger flights from India. The move bans the entry of travellers from India who have not spent at least two weeks outside the South Asian country.

Why India matters

Apart from being one of UAE’s biggest trade partners, there’s also a fair amount of travel happening between the countries. India was again Dubai International Airport’s top destination country in the first quarter of 2021, with passenger traffic reaching 1.38 million, propelled by top demand for New Delhi and Mumbai routes.

These numbers will take a dive with the suspension of flights from that country until early May.