Airline tickets, paperwork Compensatory travel plans | Chennai News

Chennai: High airfares, paperwork hassles and changing testing rules have made international vacations unviable this summer.
Airfare for March and April to United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Europe is more than double the pre-Covid rate. A one-way ticket costs between 30,000 and 90,000. People test positive upon arrival in Dubai and are stuck in quarantine, while travelers to Singapore must prepare for a rapid test within 24 hours of arrival.
Tour operators and tour operators said people were cautious about traveling abroad for leisure in April and May. People usually travel to Europe in June when the weather is nice. Tour operators are getting inquiries as Covid cases are low and countries like the UK ease restrictions. But popular destinations like the United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Malaysia are still mandating testing, making travel risky as people don’t want to get stuck if they test positive.
S Bhaskar of the Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) said there was a bit of hesitation among tourists to plan leisure trips to Europe due to lengthy paperwork and formalities of Covid. Usually people travel to Europe in mid-May when the weather is nice. Travel density is generally high during the summer months as schools have holidays in April and May.
“We will know the trend by the first week of March. People are hesitant to plan trips but they are inquiring. People want to travel. Demand is strong for Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.”
As India is reluctant to allow scheduled international flights, there are fears that incoming tourists may turn to other countries.
Subash Goyal of Stic Travels said: “We need to start regular flights otherwise inbound travelers will go to Malaysia, Singapore and other tourist destinations as these countries are opening up fast. Sri Lanka is also an option for The travellers.”
Airfares remain high as there are fewer flights.
Covid restrictions are affecting demand for seats on routes to Southeast Asia and the Middle East, as people traveling for business and education cannot find affordable seats.
That aside, Covid testing is also taking its toll on travel plans.
Pre-departure testing remains chaotic at Chennai airport despite repeated complaints. Tour operators and tour operators feel that people are hesitant to plan holidays for fear of getting stranded even if Covid cases decline.
Frequently changing rules are also creating problems, an airline official said.
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