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UAE-Pakistan: Fresh COVID-19 restrictions results in airfare surge ahead of Eid

Dubai: Airfares to fly from UAE to Pakistan are seen rising significantly ahead of Eid after the country announced its decision to reduce inbound international flights.

“In view of prevailing global and regional disease trends, Pakistan has decided to reduce inbound international travel from 5 May to 20th May,” said Pakistan’s aviation regulator in a tweet on Saturday.

“International flights to Pakistan will be reduced to 20 per cent during this period,” it added.

A one-way ticket to Karachi, Pakistan’s most populous city, costs in the range of Dh425 to Dh490 at the moment. On May 11 – a day before Eid – passengers will have to shell out at least Dh814 to buy a seat.

It seems to be the case with other Pakistani destinations as well.

An economy class ticket to Lahore can be had for just Dh345 right now. Closer to Eid, fares are seen shooting up to Dh2,100.

Capital city Islamabad costs passengers a little over Dh800 – fares will double to roughly Dh1,600 next week.

Rising cases

COVID-19 cases have passed 150 million, with numbers soaring recently due to a second wave in India.

Several countries, including UK, Canada, and Australia, have blocked flights from India as the country continues to report a record number of daily infections. Daily cases have hit the 400,000 mark and industry experts are doubtful that the flight bans will be lifted soon.

Currently, studies are ongoing on whether the double-mutant strain of the virus found in India is responsible for the unexpected surge. The ‘Indian variant’, as it is called, has been reported in around 17 countries so far.