Thiruvananthapuram: As the festive season of Onam approaches, airline companies have come under scrutiny for significantly raising ticket prices, causing a financial burden on non-resident Keralites intending to return home for the celebrations. The surge in airfare, which has exceeded threefold, has particularly targeted those hailing from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
From the 20th of this month until the 10th of September, ticket rates have skyrocketed, creating a substantial financial challenge for expatriates hoping to partake in the cherished Onam festivities alongside their loved ones. To journey back home, many individuals are now required to shell out approximately Rs. 2 lakh in expenses.
In the context of school schedules, educational institutions in the UAE, which were closed for the mid-summer break, are slated to reopen on August 28. Meanwhile, schools in other regions will commence on September 1. This timeline necessitates that those who have returned to Kerala for the occasion must bid adieu soon after Thiruvoonam, the main day of Onam celebrations.
The repercussions of escalated airfares are particularly evident in the prices for air travel to and from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. A family of four, aiming to fly from Kerala to Jeddah on Air India Express, a budget airline, is now confronted with an approximate expenditure of Rs 1.80 lakh. This stark increase is attributed to the elevated ticket cost of Rs 45,000 per person, compared to the customary price of Rs 25,000.
For those intending to travel to Dubai, the financial implications remain similarly daunting. Where tickets were once available for around Rs 10,000, the current rates have surged to Rs 33,000 to Rs 35,000 per person. International airlines are currently reflecting even higher fares. However, it’s important to note that as expatriates conclude their return journeys to the Gulf by September 15, a significant drop in ticket prices is anticipated thereafter.