Though more avenues are opening up for travel, air fare continues to remain high. Chennai-Doha one-way tickets are priced at Rs 15,000 to Rs 1 lakh while Chennai-Cairo and Madrid tickets are priced at Rs 27,000 to Rs 84,000. These are the most popular routes taken by travellers from the city to reach Europe and the US. Egypt, Ukraine, Canada, Spain, Russia, Maldives have relaxed the rules and have waived the need for quarantine for those who arrive with the RT-PCR test. These countries also allow all types of visa. This has opened up more options for transit for those headed to Europe and the US. Travellers need to select the convenient transit airport because direct arrivals are not permitted to the US.
As the route via Delhi is more or less busy, people fly via Doha, Dubai, Kiev, Cairo to the US. The student traffic to the US has pushed up fare on these routes while a small number of business travel too have to Europe, said an airline official.
Basheer Ahmed of Chennai Metro Travels said, “More options have opened up but it’s expensive. People prefer Doha as a transit point to fly to the US. Spain and Egypt are also being preferred. Fare is high as only a restricted number of flights could be operated under air bubble agreement. The restriction on the number of flights should be relaxed as countries are ready to accept vaccinated passengers and those who arrive with RTPCR reports without quarantine.”