to seven of the 20 busiest international air travel routes India flew to Dubai in May, according to data provided by aviation analytics company Cirium. In May 2019 – before the Covid-19 pandemic dramatically affected the global aviation sector – only two of the top 20 international air travel routes from India were to Dubai, according to data accessed by PTI.
“International air travel is governed by bilateral rights. In the case of Dubai, (number of) Emirates flights are back (to pre-pandemic levels) but not in every other region. This made Dubai climb the list faster than others,” said Ameya Joshi, aviation analyst and founder of aviation blog “Network Thoughts”.
He noted that Emirates, which carries a lot of traffic to the European Union, Russia and North America, was one of the first airlines to deploy full capacity on the route to India. Covid-19 significantly reduced international travel from early 2020 to early this year. The impact is now subsiding and airlines around the world have mostly resumed their international flights. In May 2019, the busiest international air travel route from India was Kolkata-Dhaka with 301 flights, the data mentioned.
However, the busiest international route in India in May 2022 was Mumbai-Dubai with 406 flights. Not only that, Delhi-Dubai was the second busiest international route with 332 flights in May 2022. The data shows that there were 167, 152, 136, 133 and 131 flights on Cochin-Dubai, Hyderabad-Dubai, Chennai-Dubai, Bengaluru-Dubai and Calicut-Dubai routes in May 2022 respectively.
These seven routes to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) city were among the top 20 international air travel routes connecting India in May 2022. In comparison, there were only two Dubai routes in the top 20 routes in May 2019 – Mumbai-Dubai (252 flights) and Delhi-Dubai (218 flights) – it noted. Meanwhile, there were four India-Kuala Lumpur routes in the top 20 routes in May 2019, none in May 2022, according to Cerium data.
“The India-Kuala Lumpur route was mostly dominated by AirAsia Bhd, Malindo and Malaysia Airlines. The trio is yet to return with full force and hence, the impact,” explained Joshi.
The reason these airlines are not back in full force is because they carry traffic within the region alone to Kuala Lumpur and beyond, not from Dubai as far as Emirates, he said, adding that the region is not yet fully open to tourism.
Data shows that the third busiest international air travel route from India in May this year was Chennai-Colombo with 183 flights. The fourth busiest route was Cochin-Dubai with 167 flights.