India reopened its doors for fully vaccinated foreign tourists from across the world. Now, travellers who have got approved jabs are allowed in quarantine-free from as many as 99 countries, including the US, UK, UAE, Qatar, France and Germany. However, sky-high international airfares due to limited air bubble flights are playing party pooper for both those who wish to come to India and those who wish to fly abroad for visiting friends and relatives or for just good old tourism.
Sample this: A return economy class air ticket on Delhi-San Francisco or Delhi-Toronto for travel around Christmas and New Year is upwards of Rs 1.5 lakh, Mumbai-New York starts at Rs 1.2 lakh and Bengaluru-London is upwards of Rs 80,000. On peak travel days, a one-way ticket can cost more than pre-pandemic return fares.
A senior aviation ministry official had recently said flights under air bubbles will be increased as per demand. But a delay in doing so means a large number of people are forced to book at exorbitant rates and subsequent drop in fares due to more flights being allowed does not benefit them. This was seen during the time when students travelled to the UK this August-September.