The price of airline tickets soared and the demand for private jets rose sharply this Friday in India, as the wealthy classes fled from a country beset by an aggressive wave of coronavirus covid-19.

Starting Sunday, all connecting flights India with United Arab Emirates, one of the most frequented routes in the world, will be suspended due to the increase in cases of coronavirus on India, whose hospitals are saturated.

According to price comparison portals, a ticket to fly from Mumbai to Dubai on Friday cost up to 80,000 rupees (about $ 1,000), a price ten times higher than usual.

Tickets for a New Delhi-Dubai flight could exceed 50,000 rupees ($ 670), after being multiplied by five.

Demand “totally went crazy” for private jet travel, a spokesman for Air Charter Service India, which specializes in this service, told AFP.

“I received 80 requests to inquire about flights to Dubai today alone”, stated the spokesman for Enthral Aviation, another private jet company.

Some 3.3 million Indians live in the United Arab Emirates, where they represent a third of the population of that Gulf country.

This Friday, a ban on air travel from India to the United Kingdom also came into force, except for British and Irish citizens and those who have the right of residence.

The price of a trip from Bombay or New Delhi to London on Friday cost between 100,000 ($ 1,300) and 150,000 rupees ($ 2,000), which is twice the usual when booked at the last minute.

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