People travelling to the US this week may have to pay nearly ₹1.5 lakh for an economy class ticket, as airfares have significantly shot up prompted by an advisory by the US government to its citizens ‘not to travel to India’.
Quoting aviation sources, a Hindustan Times report said that while an economy class ticket on an India-US flight would customarily cost around ₹50,000, the fares this week are “hovering around ₹1.5 lakh”.
On Thursday (April 22), the USA in a series of travel advisories told its citizens to avoid travelling to India, and a few other countries due to the sudden surge in COVID-19 cases in these places. ‘Do not travel to India due to COVID-19, crime, and terrorism’, the State Department said in its latest travel advisory on India, days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a similar warning for India.
The US has put India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Maldives and Bangladesh on a level 4 advisory, which means they are asking Americans not to travel to these countries. This advisory has led to a huge demand for tickets to the USA, as people here do not want to get stuck if more restrictions come into force. This spurt in demand has caused a significant spike in the fares, the sources added.
Germany and UK too have also restricted air travel from India. While UAE has banned Indians from entering their country for 10 days from Sunday (April 25), New Zealand too has imposed a temporary ban on travellers from India.
Meanwhile, the cost of hiring private chartered flights within the country too has increased by up to two times, said the HT report. The demand for these chartered flights has gone up largely because they are being used to cart COVID-19 patients from smaller cities to bigger cities for a more advanced medical treatment. These chartered flights are being used like air ambulance flights for high-net worth individuals.