UAE-India Sector Remains World’s Busiest Air Routes Amid Flights Ban, Says OAG

The UAE-India sector still remains the busiest route globally despite restrictions on flights from India to UAE, data provider OAG indicated. Ranked 11th out of 20 country pairs on OAG’s lists, passenger seats on the route of UAE-India increased more than twice to 955,064 in July in contrast to June.   

The ban on inbound flights for national and international carriers from India was imposed by the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) starting from April 24. Initially, the suspension came into force to curve the spread of a sharp surge in Covid-19 cases due to the Delta variant.    

Thousands of NRIs who had flown back to India from the UAE when travel restrictions were relaxed are now stuck in the country due to the new travel guidelines. India is the largest source market of the United Arab Emirates and contributes a third of its passenger traffic. As of 2021, an Indian population of 2.75 million contributes to UAE’s entire population (9.99 million), which is 48% less than 2019’s population.    

The Mexico-US sector remained the largest country pair, recording steady growth. With nearly 3.9 million seats, the Mexico-US sector is one of the five air routes where capacity now goes beyond pre-Covid records.   

On the other hand, demand for flights between Russia-Turkey-Ukraine witnessed significant monthly additions, noted OAG.   

The resumption of incoming flights from India and a few other countries have been facing delays. As per the latest update, Emirates airlines will not operate passenger flights countries, including India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, until August 7. It has also clarified that travellers who have visited countries on the red-list for the last 14 days will not be accepted to enter the Emirates. Only UAE nationals, UAE Golden Visa holders and diplomats who comply with updated Covid-19 protocols will be allowed to travel.  

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