With the UK opening its doors to travellers across the regions, including India, fares of flights between India-UK touch sky-high. The fare of one-way economy reached as high as Rs 4 lakh.
Sanjeev Gupta, a senior IAS officer, on August 7, brought up the matter to the aviation secretary P S Kharola by tweeting, “Fare of Rs 3.95 lakh one way Delhi to London on August 26. No, it’s not first-class. It’s economy on British Airways. Air India, Vistara also charge Rs 1.2 to 2.3 lakh. College admission time! See minimum fare on @GoogleTravel in August. Have alerted aviation secretary.”
Indians are facing similar instances after the UK relaxed its ban on Indian travellers from August 8.
In turn, the aviation ministry of India, late on August 8, refused to accept that India-London fares had gone up to Rs 4 lakh. “The fares offered on the Delhi-London sector (Economy class) range from 1.03 lakh to 1.21 lakh for Indian carriers and 1.28 lakh to 1.47 lakh for UK carriers for travel during August 2021,” the ministry tweeted, replying to the IAS officer’s tweet.
Data available on travel portals indicate that minimum one-way economy class fares on the Delhi-London route range over Rs 1 lakh on a majority of days in August. Fares will start falling after September 10.
There are several factors of this skyrocketed fares of one-way flights between Indian and London. First, 30 weekly flights between two countries have increased demand for travel after about 3.5 months UK’s travel restrictions on Indians.
Since January, India has allowed only 30 weekly scheduled flights. 15 flights were run by Indian carriers such as Air India and Vistara, and the remaining were by British airlines like British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
UK red-listed India and stopped its flight operations on April 23, 2021. Although the travel guidelines restricted Indian citizens from entering the country, many categories could skip the travel norms.
The restrictions were imposed due to the second surge in Covid infections, which restricted students from travelling to the UK for their higher studies.
Since August 8, India is on the UK’s amber list, and fully vaccinated Indian travellers are allowed without meeting a mandatory 10-day hotel quarantine requirement, as they are now permitted to do so at their homes in the UK. The travel relaxations have led fares to go up.