International flights: demand for overseas tickets on the rise, according to tour operators

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A week after the resumption of scheduled overseas commercial air operations from India, demand for international travel has shown a “clear acceleration”, encouraging travel service providers.

People are desperate to travel after a two-year lull, and demand and inquiries are skyrocketing despite rising airfares, some industry players have said.

Indiver Rastogi, President and Group Head for Global Business Travel at

(India) and SOTC, said short-haul destinations are currently seeing the maximum increase, with bookings in Thailand up three times a week, followed by Singapore and Indonesia in addition to island destinations such as the Maldives. and Mauritius for which demand increased by 30-35%.

In addition, inquiries about Western Europe (Switzerland, France, Italy and Austria) increased fourfold compared to last year, he said. “Dubai and Abu Dhabi are also seeing 40-50% growth in interest compared to the same period last year; Turkey and Egypt are up 40% and the United States 100% ( for customers holding a valid visa).

A spokesperson for Cleartrip said international bookings, since the Indian government announced the resumption of scheduled international flight operations from March 27, had increased by 80% compared to January this year.

“The United Arab Emirates, the Maldives and Thailand are popular destinations for the upcoming summer season,” the spokesperson added.

Benzy Nazar, CEO of Akbar Holidays, said revenge travel was back and people were booking despite high airfares.

“People don’t seem to be afraid of Covid anymore. With the start of the summer school holidays, those with children in school are looking to European destinations,” she said. “Those who have not booked in advance are looking to the Far East. With the opening of Thailand, four-night-five-day packages are doing well. Singapore is very successful and Dubai is doing very well despite Ramzan.

According to RateGain, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand and Nepal seem to be the most popular destinations for bookings on Indian online travel platforms.

Booking.com said that with the resumption of scheduled international flights to India, London, Paris, Dubai, Toronto and Amsterdam are among the most popular international destinations for Indian travelers from April 1 to June 30.

Vipul Prakash, chief operating officer at MakeMyTrip, said the UAE and the Maldives have already seen nearly 80% recovery this month compared to pre-Covid days. “Along similar routes, flight bookings to the US, UK, Canada and Australia have already reached a 60% recovery from January 2020. Flight bookings to short- couriers, including Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia, are seeing weekly growth,” he added.

But, despite travel service providers pointing to encouraging demand and an increase in bookings, one airline executive said long-haul flights were doing well for his business (in terms of passenger demand), but that it has to be seen in the context of many more airlines. enter the market.

Rastogi of Thomas Cook India and SOTC said sporting events are also boosting travel intentions, with companies eyeing the FIFA World Cup in Qatar and the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.

Business travel has seen an increase, doubling month-on-month since January, and was currently three times higher than last month. A sharp rise in business sentiment with the restart of scheduled international aviation led to the March shutdown at 90% of our 2019 levels, led by IT, Consulting, Banking & Finance, Global Accounts and SMEs that fuel demand. The destinations showing high demand are the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom,” he added.

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