MUMBAI: Indian students studying abroad continue to bear the brunt of travel restrictions imposed by India on scheduled airline international flights. The latest comes in the form of high airfares for return to India during the winter holiday around year-end. With high demand and low supply, return air fare for travel to India from countries like the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada are currently priced about three times the pre-Covid fares, say parents. The worst hit are students bound for India from the US west coast. “This year, with Singapore, Hong Kong and Bangkok shut to Indian flyers, students from the US west coast are left with no option but to transit via Europe and West Asia,” said a travel agent. On Saturday, the cheapest return fare for mid-December-early-January return travel on San Francisco-Delhi non-stop flight began at Rs 2.3 lakh, offered by Air India. A cheaper option was a transit via Dubai, priced at Rs 1.9 lakh, but entailed 25 hour travel each way. The cheapest fare on San Francisco-Mumbai return flights began at Rs 2.2 lakh, an Air India transit via Delhi. Other fares are expensive too. The cheapest available round fare on New York-Mumbai began at Rs 1.6 lakh and involved a Dubai transit and a 23-hour journey each way. The cheapest fares on non-stop return flights from New York to Delhi began at Rs 1.7 lakh. Similarly, for a Boston-Mumbai round trip fares began at Rs 1.7 lakh while Chicago-Mumbai via Dubai was the cheapest option with fares at Rs 1.94 lakh. The cheapest return on London-Mumbai non-stop began at Rs 1.4 lakh on Air India, the cheaper fare for Rs 1.1 lakh involved a Dubai transit. Delhi has better non-stop connectivity, with Toronto-Delhi non-stop return priced at Rs 2 lakh and Chicago-Delhi non-stop return at Rs 1.8 lakh. Navin Bhatia (name changed on request), a parent who divides his time between UK and India, said he has decided to meet his children — one studying in Canada and the other in the US — in Dubai this winter. “It’s a lot cheaper to fly to Dubai than to India from here in UK,” he said. “I’ll try to do a round trip to India from there if the fares are better. Currently, a Dubai-Mumbai return for last week of December is priced at Rs 65,700,” he said. Three weeks ago, he booked the tickets for mid-December travel and January return. A London-Dubai round trip in economy class cost Rs 80,000, while economy class fares on London- Mumbai began at Rs 2 lakh. India had suspended the scheduled international airline flight operations on March 23 last year.