Airfares on the busy West Asia-India routes are up to 50 per cent higher than normal this year due to higher travel demand during Eid holidays.

Schools in the UAE are closed for a three-week spring break till April 14. Unlike last time, the school break coincides with week-long public holiday for Eid. As such, more families are visiting home on holidays, resulting in brisk business for airlines and travel companies.

Demand surge

"We have seen a surge in demand for travel to India during the Eid holidays. Demand is especially strong from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Doha and Riyadh, where we have seen double-digit growth in bookings compared to last year, said an Air India Express executive.

"Eid holidays are a peak season in Kuwait and Gulf Co-operation Council countries. Bookings and loads are always higher during this time, and we are on par with the demand we had last year," said Barathan Pasupathi, chief executive officer of Kuwait-based Jazeera Airways.

According to aviation consultancy CAPA India, two-way traffic between India and West Asia in 2023 was over 33 million. This included passengers travelling onward via hubs. The UAE accounted for around 57 per cent of all traffic, followed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

While traditionally June and July have been peak months for travel from West Asia to India, demand is also seen during festivals like Eid, Onam, or Christmas.

"Searches for flight bookings for the UAE-India corridor have increased by over 20 per cent compared with last month," said MakeMyTrip's chief operating officer (flights, holidays, and Gulf), Saujanya Shrivastava.

increasing fares

"Typically, at this time, flight prices between the UAE and India increase anywhere between 10 and 30 per cent depending on the destination, which is the same this year as well," he added. Along with India, residents from the UAE are also showing interest in travelling to Maldives, Thailand, Azerbaijan, and other countries.

"We are witnessing 15-20 per cent surge in bookings for travel from the Gulf to India, surpassing pre-Covid volumes," said Raheesh Babu, chief operating officer of

Babu added that on certain routes, fares have increased by 40-50 per cent during the Eid holiday season.

Initial travel trends from West Asia-based travel firm Almosafer show demand for travel during Eid to Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow, Kozhikode, and Hyderabad.