Saturday, May 01, 2021

As air tickets to United States dry up, Indians eye charter flights

MUMBAI/DELHI: With the United States set to restrict from May 4 the entry of most non-Americans who are currently in India, one-way fares for flights bound for the western country from cities such as Mumbai and Delhi have shot up. Meanwhile, with restrictions on travel to London and Dubai and no seats left on non-stop flights between India and the United States, the scramble for charter flights has begun.

On Saturday afternoon, the cheapest fare available for travel from Delhi to New York on the same day began at Rs 7 lakh, for an Air India flight via Tokyo and onwards to Newark on United Airlines.

"The travel curbs imposed last week by the UK and the UAE have stifled Indian passport holders as they can’t board flights to the United States that transits via Dubai and London," said a travel industry insider. Neither can those with American passports fly on the May 2 flight as a negative PCR report is mandatory to fly into the United States and the likelihood of getting a test report in 24 hours is slim.

“Indians are now looking at charter flights. A travel company is apparently selling one-way tickets on direct flights from Mumbai to New York for Rs 1.5 lakh. They probably plan to charter an aircraft, but I don’t know whether the operator they have entrusted this job to has managed to procure the requisite permissions to operate the flight,” said a travel industry insider, requesting anonymity.

However, another industry insider said big demand for charters to reach the United States was yet to be seen. "Charter companies fly small/medium size airplanes and hardly any of them have permission to fly over the Atlantic Ocean. So, unlike places like Dubai, London and Maldives, the demand for United States is mostly restricted to commercial airlines, especially the one’s that go nonstop," said Rajan Mehra, CEO of Club One Air and former Indian head of Qatar Airways.


  1. For the curious, rs 1.5 lakhs is about $2,000US. I have no idea what one-way tickets cost last week for comparison.

  2. I don't understand. If there are restrictions on entering the US, Where are these people going to go when they disembark? Are they going to quarantine somewhere? For how long?

  3. India quickly learned that a three-week shutdown posed more of a threat to many, many citizens’ personal survival than Covid did.

  4. Question: why was it "racist" to ban flights from China under Trump but it is not "racist" when Biden bans flights from India?

    No, I really want someone to answer that question legitimately. And why do I use quotations in "racist" there? Because under the current theme of politics by the left wing party, if you don't agree with them, you are a "racist."


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