Abu Dhabi: In a relief to Gulf Malayalees, the flight ticket rates to various destinations in Kerala from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have come down.
With the start of the off-season, one-way tickets are available for below Rs 6000 (300 dirhams).
However, the expatriates will have to burn a hole in their pocket for the return journey as they have to dole out five times the rate for travel to the state, over Rs 30,000. Even if they are ready to spend this much money, no seats are available on direct flights, and they have to make connection services, spending several additional hours.
The ticket prices in inbound flights earlier soared to 3000 dirhams (Rs 67500) at the peak of the midsummer holidays during the months of July and August and the same has now fallen below 300 dirhams.
The airfares in the Sharjah-Kannur sector, which is comparatively higher, was 285 dirhams (Rs 6418) on Sunday. The lower fares are expected to last the entire offseason till November end. The airlines are wooing flyers to Kerala by offering higher baggage allowances. A family of four can fly back home for 1200 dirhams.
However, the ticket prices for travel from Kochi to Dubai are hovering over Rs 30,000. Some of the airlines are charging up to Rs 70,000. The fare will further increase if the journey is up to Abu Dhabi. A four-member family needs to spend anywhere from Rs 1.2 to 2.8 lakh for coming back from Kerala.
Many families which have gone home during the summer holidays are yet to return. While some of the expatriates have flown back after celebrating Onam, many others are staying back, waiting for the exorbitant airfares to come down.
The schools in the Gulf will close for three weeks in December for the winter holidays. With the Christmas and New Year holidays falling in that period, there will be a lot many families visiting home and the fares too will go high.