Riyadh: The air fares to Hyderabad and other destinations in India from the Gulf region have surged by over 300 per cent due to holiday rush for Eid.
The five to ten days holidays in different Gulf countries is an opportunity for many NRIs to spend their holidays in India. During the peak season, fares are generally hiked but this year it has reached the peak especially in Saudi Arabia as it houses the largest number of Indian workers and also has longer holidays than other Gulf countries, besides significant number of Umrah pilgrims who were returning home.
According to travel agents, flights to destinations like Hyderabad and Calicut are costing more than 300 per cent above than normal fare. It is also almost impossible to find a seat in economy class in Hyderabad sector for another five days from Gulf cities.
Indigo, which is considered for its lowest airfare, is charging AED 1,750 for one way on Dubai – Hyderabad against the normal fare of AED 450. Emirates, Air Arabia and Air India and other airlines also have the same and even higher fares for flights to Hyderabad due to Eid rush, according to travel agents. It is also difficult to find a seat despite shelling extra amount, they added.
The fares will be reduced immediately after Eid, opined Swamy Reddy, a travel consultant in Dubai.
The national carrier Air India’s flights to Hyderabad are booked months ahead of Ramadan and there is little chance to find seats despite high fares, said travel agents in Saudi Arabia.
The one-way fare from Jeddah to Hyderabad on Saudi Airlines is costing more than SR 3,200. After three days of Eid, the normal air fare in this sector would be back to SR. 800.
The Saudi Airlines and Air India have closed new bookings in Dammam – Hyderabad and Jeddah – Hyderabad sector as it’s fully booked for Eid season.
Similar price hike is prevailing in Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain too, say travel agents.
The problem is more acute in Hyderabad – Jeddah sector due to increasing traffic of Umrah passengers and shortage of wide-body aircrafts to accommodate more number of passengers.
“I had to travel for emergency purpose and not for Eid, I have spent SR. 2,600 for one way fare to Hyderabad that ruined my whole budget”, said Faheemuddin Ahmed, a native of Karimnagar district, who left for Hyderabad on Tuesday.