When UAE-based Indian businessman S P Singh Oberoi boarded the Amritsar to Dubai Air India flight with an economy class ticket, he was left surprised. Oberoi was the lone passenger on the three-hour flight that departed from Amritsar around 3.45 am on Wednesday, PTI reported quoting officials. 

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Oberoi, who holds UAE’s golden visa that allows 10-year long residency in the country, took photographs with the crew and paced up and down the aircraft multiple times without any hindrance, the news agency reported.

The businessman took to Twitter to appreciate the governments of India and the UAE “for making it a memorable journey” and thanked Air India “for special services.” 

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According to the Khaleej Times, Oberoi, who hails from Patiala, Punjab, is a prominent social worker. He helped Indian labourers and other compatriots return to India during the COVID-induced lockdown last year. 

Meanwhile, this was the third time in the last five weeks when a flight from India to Dubai had just one passenger. 

On May 19, 40-year-old Bhavesh Javeri was the only passenger on Mumbai to Dubai flight. Three days later, another man, Oswald Rodrigues, was the only passenger on Air India’s Mumbai-Dubai flight.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, the India-UAE route was one of the most lucrative for the airliners. However, this changed after the pandemic hit that impacted travel.

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India suspended international flights on March 23, last year. However, special flights operated under the Vande Bharat Mission, since May 2020. Flights have also been plying under air bubble pacts with 27 countries since July, last. India has an air bubble pact with the UAE.