Tatsat Chronicle Magazine

How travel from West is burning a hole in the pockets of Indian students & its impact

Photo Credit: United Nations India

Travel restrictions enforced by India on scheduled airline foreign flights continue to affect Indian students studying abroad

“With Singapore, Hong Kong, and Bangkok closed to Indian fliers this year, students from the west coast of the United States have no choice but to transit through Europe and West Asia,” said a travel agency. The most affordable return fare for a mid-December-early-January return journey on Air India’s San Francisco-Delhi nonstop flight began at Rs 2.3 lakh on Saturday. A transit through Dubai was a less expensive option, costing Rs 1.9 lakh, but it required a 25-hour journey each way. The most cost-effective San Francisco-Mumbai return travel, with an Air India transit through Delhi, priced at Rs 2.2 lakh.

Indian students studying abroad continue to face the weight of India’s travel restrictions on scheduled airline international flights. The most recent development is the high cost of returning to India during the winter vacation at the end of the year. According to parents and grandparents, return air costs to India from countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada are now around three times higher than pre-Covid fares due to high demand and insufficient supply. College students from the west coast of the United States who are bound for India are the hardest hit.

Different fares are also expensive. The cheapest round-trip flight from New York to Mumbai started at Rs 1.6 lakh and included a Dubai stopover and a 23-hour journey each way. On continuous return flights from New York to Delhi, the most cost-effective rates started at Rs 1.7 lakh. Similarly, round-trip fares from Boston to Mumbai started at Rs 1.7 lakh, while Chicago-Mumbai via Dubai was the most cost-effective option, with fares starting at Rs 1.94 lakh. The most cost-effective return flight from London to Mumbai on Air India began at Rs 1.4 lakh, with a cheaper rate of Rs 1.1 lakh involving a Dubai stopover.

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