Following the announcement of Eid Al Fitr holidays on Sunday May 26, travel agents in the UAE said there has been a spike in holiday bookings and subsequent hike in flight rates.
A quick survey conducted by Gulf News across a section of travel agents revealed flight rates have soared at least 100 to 150 per cent and in some instances all the way up to 300 per cent, compared to non-peak rates.
What is more, agents told this newspaper that holiday makers from the UAE have lapped up packages to various destinations as they get ready to spend the long weekend in the best possible way.
Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan came out winners as top destinations favoured by UAE holiday makers, with Bali, Hong Kong, Mauritius and Seychelles following closely.
According to Dubai-based AFC Holidays which compiled Eid deals, said their packages are all almost sold out except to two destinations.
Piljo Paul of AFC Holidays said their "combined packages" to Bangkok – Pataya costing Dh3,449 per person on twin-sharing basis (including airfare and 4-star accommodation) and Georgia – Armenia costing Dh3,399 per person on twin-sharing basis (including airfare and 4-star accommodation) were the only ones remaining.
“On these too, we only have a few seats left,” said Paul.
“The rest of our packages are all sold out. We have seen a massive interest this year as the government announced a long week-end for UAE residents. Flight bookings during Eid will be hard to make if people don’t decide early,” added Paul.
According to Paul, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan are top destinations for holiday makers from the UAE.
Kanoo Travels said flight rates have soared massively following the Eid Al Fitr holidays announcement.
According to Satendra Valmiki from the agency, flight rates to Mumbai during Eid is hovering around Dh2,000 per person on Air India Express (non-peak rates being around Dh850, marking over a 100 per cent increase in flight rates). “Rates to the city on Air India is around Dh2,100 versus non-peak rates of around Dh900, again marking over a 100 per cent increase.”
“Rates on budget airlines Indigo, is surprisingly higher at Dh3,000 for the holidays versus Dh800 during non-peak times, marking a massive 300 per cent increase.”
He said flight rates to Bangalore are also spiking. Rates on Indigo to the city is currently priced around Dh2,900 per person, 160 per cent higher than non-peak rates which is usually around Dh1,100.
The Kanoo Travels executive said Air Arabia rates to the southern city of India is around Dh2,700 versus non-peak rates of around Dh1,100 - 150 per cent rise.
“It is the same with Calicut too. Flight rates on Air India Express is Dh1,700 per person, versus Dh700 as non-peak rates. On Indigo, the flight rate is Dh1,950 vs Dh700 during non-peak times. Air Arabia flights are Dh2,000 to Calicut vs Dh700 during non-peak times,” said Valmiki.
He added tickets to New Delhi is currently priced around Dh2,200 on Air Arabia, Dh2,150 on Air India Express, Dh2,500 on Indigo and Dh3,400 on Emirates. “These are way up from non-peak rates. As an example flights to New Delhi during non-peak times on Air India is Dh900, on Indigo – Dh1,200, Emirates – Dh1,400 and Etihad – Dh1,600.”
Janet of Al Tayer Travels said top four holiday destinations from the UAE are Mauritius, Seychelles, Georgia and Azerbaijan.
Holiday package to Mauritius is currently Dh4,500 for four nights, five days including air-fare and accommodation. “If you choose to book only flights, the flight rate on Air Mauritius is currently asking Dh4,455 which is almost the package rate. Flight rates to Seychelles are also soaring at Dh3,915 on Emirates Airlines.”
She added flight rates to Central Asia like Georgia, Azerbaijan were one of the most economical compared to other destinations.