Dubai: Airfares from Kerala to the UAE have touched a whopping Rs 1.25 lakh after the Gulf nation announced a ban on flights from India with effect from Saturday midnight. While the booking sites of Air India and Air India Express have been down for the last three days, the other airline companies are making a killing. The steep hike in fares has caused many difficulties to people from Kerala working in the UAE who had reached home for emergency needs.
Meanwhile, Air Arabia is conducting additional services to the UAE from Kochi on Saturday. Of the six schedules of the airline, six were fully booked by Friday noon. Some airlines launched efforts to avail the services of chartered flights, but permission was denied by the Aviation authorities. Another hurdle was the condition to produce a negative RT-PCR test result for COVID-19 obtained within 48 hours of the departure time.
Travellers from India can reach UAE via Nepal, but a 14-day quarantine there is mandatory.
The UAE had banned incoming flights on national and foreign carriers from India from April 24, while transportation of passengers from the Gulf country to India will be allowed.
This will also apply to those carrying transit passengers, with the exception of transit flights coming to the UAE and heading onward to India.
UAE will also allow the transfer of exempted groups from India to the UAE with the application of the aforementioned precautionary measures. These groups include UAE citizens, diplomatic missions appointed by the two countries, official delegations, those on business men chartered flights, and those holding golden residency.
The exemptions will apply provided they undertake preventive measures that include quarantine for 10 days and a PCR test at the airport, as well as on the fourth and eighth days following entry into the country.
The required PCR test period has also been reduced from 72 hours to 48 hours prior to travel from accredited laboratories that issue test results carrying a QR code.
The authority called upon all travellers affected by the decision to follow up with the relevant airlines to change or reschedule their flights and to ensure their safe return to their final destinations without delay.