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Now, airlines offer visa services to attract fliers
P R Sanjai in Mumbai | January 03, 2006 13:15 IST
Airlines are planning innovative ways to attract more passengers to fly to Middle East. With more airlines now playing the role of sponsors for Dubai travellers, a visitor need not look for a sponsor there.
While UAE-based airline Emirates is offering simplified visa procedures for its passenger travelling to Dubai through the Dubai Visa Processing Centre in Mumbai, Sharjah-based low cost carrier Air Arabia is issuing visa in association with the Sharjah government.
Other airlines such as Etihad Airways and other Gulf-based airlines are also planning to extend such services to their air travellers.
Emirates has introduced a visa service for its passengers from India via DVPC in Mumbai. The visa processing for the Emirates is done through specialist outsourcing agency VFS (India) Private Ltd, a subsidiary of the Swiss company Kuoni Travel Group.
"A traveller to Dubai flying on Emirates can apply for a visa in India itself through DVPC without having a sponsor in that country. However, DVPC accepts visa application only for visit visas of 59-day stay and 96-hour visa from passengers flying to Dubai or transiting Dubai on Emirates," VFS (India) Vice President - DVPC & Singapore Visa Services Abdul Ghafoor Faridi said.
DVPC charge Rs 3,082 for processing visit visa while the fee for urgent visa (96-hour Visa) is Rs 1,582. DVPC can process the application within 2 working days with out fax exchanges with Dubai government or waiting at visa delivery desk, he pointed out.
Under normal procedures, tourists need to locate a sponsor in Dubai. It takes around 7 working days to process a visa and costs between $50 to $60.
If the visa is required on an urgent basis and the hotels or inbound sponsor need to process it urgently, the cost will be between $100 to $115.
"The visa facilitation services in India is booming. DVPC has received over 60,000 visa applications in 2005 against 30,000 applications in 2004," Faridi said.
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