International travellers from India are re-routing their flights through transit hubs in the Middle East, such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi, after cancelling travel plans to travel through Southeast Asian airports in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The demand spurt on India-Gulf routes is expected to trigger a spike in airfares, especially for tickets to destinations in the US and even Australia, travel industry sources said. Tour operators and travellers expect the increase in airfare in this sector to be in the region of 15-20%.
According to travel agency experts, a return ticket for travel to New York from the south Indian city of Chennai in June is about $1,300 with Emirates as against about $910 with Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong.
Tour and travel operators in India, who have seen their businesses take a hit of 30-60% since the coronavirus outbreak, have been convincing their clients either to change their travel plans to or through Dubai and Abu Dhabi.