Jeddah: A long Eid-ul-Fitr holiday that has begun in Gulf region has sparked excitement among scores of Telangana NRIs who live here and are keen to travel back to Hyderabad to spend time with family and friends. The airfares to Hyderabad and also other South Indian destinations from some cities in Gulf region have surged over 200 per cent due to holiday rush. The sky-high prices of air tickets due to the seasonal demand are dampening the travel plans of many workers. The booking under economy class by various leading airlines to Hyderabad sector has been closed, according to travel agents.
The seizing operations of some of Indian private airlines for various reasons has resulted shrinking seats from the region that is also causing price hike this year. The five to ten day holidays in different Gulf countries is an opportunity for many of NRIs to spend their longer holidays back home in India. During the peak season, fare hike is common but this year it has reached peak level especially in Saudi Arabia that houses largest number of Indian workers also having longer holidays than rest of Gulf Countries.
According to travel agents, flights to destinations like Hyderabad, Chennai and Calicut is costing more than 200 per cent above than normal fare. It is also almost impossible to find a seat in economy class in Hyderabad sector for another 10 days from Gulf cities. The passengers can find seat in only Business class after much difficulty.
Among all cities in Gulf, the price is skyrocketing in Dubai – Hyderabad sector, though Dubai has more connectivity to Hyderabad than any other city yet peak demand ahead of Eid holidays has surged prices.
Dubai’s Emirates and other airlines are charging AED 1800 for one way on Dubai- Hyderabad economy class against AED 600, despite that there are no seats left in economy class in Hyderabad sector for another two weeks, said Shailesh Reddy, travel consultant in Dubai.
Jeddah – Hyderabad is another busy sector with Umrah rush. The national carrier Air India is charging SR 2,900 for round trip on Jeddah – Hyderabad economy class flight against SR 2,000. The Saudi Arabian Airlines also has similar range fares in holiday season, said Mohammed Zubair of Al Jouf Travels, a travel agency in Jeddah.