Air fares soar as Dubai Expo begins

Air tariffs for one-way travel between Indian cities and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have soared as the Dubai Expo 2020 officially opened on Friday.

Economy class tickets are unavailable on the Dubai-based Emirates for the next few days. A first class ticket in the Kochi-Dubai sector is quoted at ₹1,31,112 on Saturday and Sunday while the ticket fare on Monday in business class is ₹89,828.

Air India tickets in economy class on the Kozhikode-Dubai route on Monday and Wednesday will cost ₹35,425 and ₹38,750 respectively. IndiGo has rates on one-way tickets in the Kozhikode-Dubai sector at around ₹40,000.

With the UAE relaxing norms on COVID-19 travels, tourists from Kerala are arriving in the country to visit the expo. Many others are travelling to visit families and for seeking better job opportunities.

However, Emirates and the budget airline flydubai will provide free all-day passes to the expo beginning October 1. Passengers travelling to or via Abu Dhabi with Etihad Airways will also get the offer.

From August 30, the UAE has started issuing tourist visas from all countries, provided that they are fully vaccinated with one of the WHO-approved COVID-19 vaccines. The air tariff has been soaring since the relaxation.

Expo 2020 was originally scheduled from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021. However, due to the pandemic, the event was postponed and could culminate on March 31, 2022.

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