Dubai: Dubai-based low-cost carrier flydubai has started selling tickets for regular passenger flights to Pakistan and India, along with other international destinations, with effect from May 21.
Gulf News has learnt that the sale of tickets for regular passenger flights from May 21 to India, Pakistan and other flydubai destinations around the world are now open.
Flydubai is the second UAE-based airline after Air Arabia that has opened ticket sales for regular flights. Air Arabia is selling tickets for regular flights with effect from June 1.
However, UAE’s two major airlines, Emirates and Etihad, are yet to resume ticket sales for regular flights.
When contacted by Gulf News, a flydubai agent confirmed that sale of tickets for regular flights, starting May 21, has already opened. He, however, clarified that flight departure was conditional to circumstances. “Flights will take off only if the authorities at the relevant countries allow them to operate,” he explained.
About refunds against bookings in case the flights do not take off, the agent said: “Customers will have two options. They can either rebook or take vouchers as refund. There will be no cash refund."
A statement issued by a flydubai spokesperson on Thursday states: "Flight restrictions remain in place until 04 June and we are currently operating repatriation and cargo flights only. We are cancelling flights until 04 June, however, we have not cancelled all the flights in our schedule and continue to monitor developments. Further cancellations will be announced as necessary."
Taking advantage of the situation, many travel agents in the UAE have started selling tickets for both flydubai and Air Arabia flights. However, they are still not sure whether these flights will actually take off. “We are issuing tickets as flydubai and Air Arabia have opened bookings online. But we are not sure whether the flights will take off. It all depends upon the other countries, whether they will allow these flights,” a travel agent in Dubai told Gulf News.
Regular passenger flights are in high demand as hundreds of thousands of passengers mainly from India and Pakistan are stranded in the UAE due to flight restrictions over the global coronavirus pandemic and are eager to be back home. Likewise, thousands of UAE residents are stranded outside since flights were suspended last month.
Stranded Pakistanis and Indians
Pakistan has already repatriated more than 6,000 out of the 63,000 stranded Pakistanis who had registered themselves for repatriatio from the UAE on special flights. India is starting special repatriation flights today from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to fly home the first batch of stranded citizens. Almost 200,000 stranded Indians have registered with their diplomatic missions for repatriation.