Indian nationals delighted about upcoming VTL; travel agencies see surge in demand for flights

Rangoon Air Travel said the number of customers asking for flights to India has doubled since the announcement of the VTL.

“We usually get about 20 customers a day who are hunting for flights to India, but today alone, we’ve received more than 45 calls,” said Mr Jahabar Sadiq, the company’s director.

“After the announcement, people started to call us, message us or even come to our office asking for the possibilities of getting a flight. But so far, the authorities have only said when the VTL will be launched, we still don’t know which flights and their schedules, so we can only wait to find out more details,” he said.

It is a similar situation at travel agency Chola Holidays, where phones have been ringing continuously since Monday.

“Now everybody is keen to travel because they know there is no quarantine and there is a direct flight to India, so demand for flights has increased a lot,” said Mr Balu Venkatesh, the agency’s director.

“We are already seeing high demand for the Vande Bharat Mission (VBM), with flights (for this month) already all fully booked about three to four weeks ago,” he added, referring to a programme by the Indian government to repatriate Indian nationals from around the world amid the pandemic. 

“So, with the two VTL flights per day, it will definitely help more people to get a seat, but it also means more people will want to go travel now.”Mr Sadiq said demand for flights have been increasing, despite rising ticket prices.

“The price for the VBM flights has already gone up to S$500 for just one way. Under a normal scenario, you could get a return ticket at around S$400,” he said.


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