KuwaitOther News

Ticket prices soar ahead of restriction-free Eid holiday

By Ali Ghanim and Faten Omar

KUWAIT: Aviation demand is bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels, with prices of tickets soaring ahead of the Eid holidays. Also, arriving passengers are not required to present a PCR test result or vaccination certificate, and unvaccinated people can freely enter the country. Countries such as Turkey, United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates are the top destinations during Eid, in addition to some Asian and Arab countries.

Kuwait Times spoke with several travel and tourism agents to learn more about the most in-demand destinations among citizens and expats during the Eid holidays. Travel agent Ghassan Saleem said Istanbul, Cairo, Dubai and London are the top destinations for travelers this Eid, adding ticket prices have increased compared to last week by up to 40 to 50 percent.

Saleem said airfares to these destinations have increased, where return tickets to Turkey have reached KD 350, Cairo KD 300 and Dubai KD 200, while tickets to London cost KD 500 to 550 in economy class and KD 1,600 for business class.

Another agent Lee Nueva told Kuwait Times the top destinations during the Eid holidays are India, Philippines and Bangladesh. Nueva revealed that citizens and expats have made bookings for the top destinations to spend the holiday with their families after being in lockdown during the pandemic. She said prices of tickets have been rising, where tickets to Manila have reached up to KD 300.

Turkey is one of the most attractive destinations for people in Kuwait, said Michael, who works at a travel and tourism office. “Bodrum and Istanbul are the top cities booked by travelers for Eid. Flights to Dubai are increasing day by day, as prices jumped from KD 80 to KD 140 this week. A big exodus to Turkey is expected for the next two weeks, as travelers from different backgrounds are going to spend Eid Al-Fitr holiday outside Kuwait,” he added.

Alaam Al-Khaiat, a salesman at a travel agency, said the number of tickets offered by airlines does not meet the demand of travelers. “One of the most in-demand destinations is London, with direct flights now fully booked for Eid, while demand for other destinations increased by 60 percent,” he said. He said Istanbul, Dubai and London are the top destinations for Eid, pointing out that the cost of a ticket to Istanbul has now risen to more than KD 350, while airfares to Dubai range from KD 180 to KD 200.

Meanwhile, travel agent Shadi Ibrahim revealed travel by citizens to Turkey has exceeded 200 percent. He indicated there is also great demand for travel to destinations such as Tbilisi, Baku, London, Dubai, Cairo and others. Ibrahim noted that prices are cheaper and flexible on days after Eid, but prices are double during the holidays, ranging between KD 250 and 400.

Kuwait’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) announced the movement of passengers to and from Kuwait International Airport is expected to reach 352,140 passengers during the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, with 207,760 departing and 144,380 arriving. DGCA noted that up to 2,800 flights will be operated during the period from April 28 to May 7, with 76 additional flights on Eid.

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