Kuwait: The airfare from Kochi to Kuwait is a whopping Rs 2,43,308! This is the airfare for September 9 listed on the Jazeera Airways website on Friday. The relatively low flight rate is on September 21, Rs 1,27,808.
After the Covid travel ban was lifted by the Gulf country, the nod was given for direct flight services from India to Kuwait. But none of the airlines other than Jazeera has resumed the booking, leading to the exorbitant price.
Earlier in the Kerala-Kuwait sector, the maximum fare was Rs 15,000. Even during the peak season, coinciding with festivals and summer vacation, the fare did not exceed Rs 32,000.
In a bid to cash in on the high demand among the Non-Resident Keralites (NoRKs) returning to the Gulf countries, airline companies had hiked fares to destinations in West Asia last September. Several passengers had then pointed out that the air charges have been increased close to 50 percent within a month.
International passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 23 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, special international passenger flights have been operating since July through bilateral air bubble arrangements between India and a few other countries.
Under an air bubble pact, the countries' airlines can operate special passenger flights between their territories with certain restrictions.
It was only in the last several weeks Gulf countries allowed Indians to return, but subject to riders with regard to the type of visa and health parameters. Accordingly, Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) started flight operations last month.