Eid al-Adha Holiday Sparks Four-Fold Increase in Airfare, Straining Expatriate Travel Plans

With airlines increasing ticket prices more than four times in view of the Eid al-Adha holiday, expatriates’ journey home is in crisis. More people were preparing to return home as it is hot in the Gulf. The ticket rate increase is more pronounced in the Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Qatar sectors. A family of four needs more than Rs 2 lakh to reach Kerala from Kuwait on Air India Express, with ticket prices soaring to Rs 55,000 per person. Meanwhile, a ticket from Kerala to Kuwait costs around Rs 10,000.

Travel agencies booking tickets in bulk under the guise of group tickets has also led to an increase in fares. Airlines negotiate fares with agencies months in advance and issue tickets under group ticket schemes. As a result, the number of tickets available on the websites decreases, and demand increases. Companies can then raise fares on the remaining tickets as they see fit. When the season begins, the agencies sell the hoarded tickets at extortionate rates.

Here are the ticket rates till June 16 for Air India Express:

Kuwait – Kozhikode: Rs 53,000 – 55,000

Kozhikode – Kuwait: Rs 10,000 – 12,000

Jeddah – Kozhikode: Rs 54,000 – 58,000

Kozhikode – Jeddah: Rs 12,650 – 13,600

Dubai – Kozhikode: Rs 33,000 – 43,500

Kozhikode – Dubai: Rs 6,900 – 7,300

Abu Dhabi – Kochi: Rs 28,500 – 30,500

Kochi – Abu Dhabi: Rs 8,500 – 9,700

Doha – Kochi: Rs 49,500 – 54,000

Kochi – Doha: Rs 9,500 – 12,000

Abu Dhabi – Thiruvananthapuram: Rs 35,000 – 37,000

Thiruvananthapuram – Abu Dhabi: Rs 11,500 – 12,500

Sharjah – Kannur: Rs 23,000 – 24,500

Kannur – Sharjah: Rs 8,000 – 9,900

The significant rise in airfare during the Eid al-Adha holiday season is putting a strain on expatriates trying to return home. The bulk booking practices of travel agencies and the subsequent hoarding of tickets have exacerbated the situation, leading to inflated prices and travel difficulties for many.

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