The Indian businessman SP Singh Oberoi, who lives in the UAE, was pleasantly surprised to find the whole plane to himself when he boarded an Air India flight from Amritsar to Dubai, traveling in economy class. Mr. Oberoi, who holds a golden visa that allows him to stay in the UAE for ten years, was the only passenger aboard the three-hour flight that departed from Amritsar at 3.45 a.m on Wednesday, an official said.
Throughout the flight, he snapped pictures with the crew and paced up and down the aircraft without any hindrance. The airline did not respond to this matter. It’s the third time in five weeks that an airline flight to Dubai has carried only one passenger. A 40-year-old man named Bhavesh Javeri was the only passenger on Emirates’ Mumbai-Dubai flight on May 19. Three days later, Oswald Rodrigues made up the only passenger on Air India’s Mumbai-Dubai flight.
In pre-pandemic times, India-Dubai flights were among the most lucrative for airlines. The pandemic has, however, severely impacted traffic on India-Dubai routes. Due to the second wave of the pandemic, which is receding currently, India and its aviation sector have been particularly affected this year.
When India’s first wave of pandemic struck on March 23, 2020, the country suspended its scheduled international flights. As of July 2020, special international flights have been operated under the Vande Bharat Mission and under air bubble pacts with around 27 countries. The air bubble arrangement also applies to flights between India and the UAE. A limited number of flights can be operated between the two countries under this agreement.