Prices of Air Tickets Rocketing
It is becoming increasingly expensive to travel by plane as air fares are now getting higher, said tour operators specializing in selling air tickets. A check at random airline websites also shows that, depending on the chosen period, tickets in 2021 cost 10 to 30 percent more than pre-crisis levels when flights were extremely affordable. The price increase is mainly due to the reduction in the number of flights carried out, as well as cost growth and reduced revenues for airlines due to the ebb in air travel and the measures imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Losses for the airline sector over the past 2020 are estimated at USD 118 billion, as calculated by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). To make up for this poor financial performance, airlines are trying to smoothly raise prices, experts explained.
For now they are playing for time, offering various discounts for early and last-minute bookings, but they definitely think along these lines, the specialists in the tourism industry are adamant. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays prices are lower.
The other reason is that the reduction in the number of flights is combined with the pre-sold and not used air tickets because of Covid-19, which are yet to be used. Most air companies chose not to return money to their customers, but offered different schemes allowing to change dates or replace funds with vouchers for future trips, the experts explain.
Thus, most of the seats for the now fewer flights have actually already been sold, and customers can use the service at chosen time.
The International Air Transport Association predicts that air traffic will begin to recover in April-May, but 2019 levels will be reached in 2022 at the earliest. Just as passenger flows grow, the price of air fares is also expected to be more drastically raised. "The current level of air fares does not guarantee profits for air transport, therefore airlines must either reduce costs, for which they have practically no reserves or stop dumping," told RIA Novosti Oleg Panteleev, who owns a company specializing in analyses and forecasts for the airline market.
According to the expert forecasts, bankruptcies of airlines can also be expected, and at the moment there are no indications of new investors filling the niches they have left, which will further support the trend for increasing airfares.
EUR 10 for filling in an online entry COVID-19 declaration requires from its passengers the low-cost carrier "Wizz Air", alerted a reader who travelled from the Bulgarian capital to Charleroi Airport in Belgium on January 5.
Although the company's e-mail to the passenger explicitly stated that the document could be handed over on paper, the airport asked passengers for an online version, and being pressed for time, without access to internet or smartphone at hand, most of them were forced to pay EUR 10 euros and fill in the declaration once more, but online. The lady claims she didn't even get a receipt for the payment.
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