Air fares soar between EU and Asia

Air fares have risen in all major regions as travel restrictions begin to ease but in particular between Europe and Asia-Pacific, according to Airbus airline-data subsidiary Skytra.

Fares on flights between the EU and the Asia-Pacific region increased by one third year on year in the week to May 10, Skytra reported.

It noted an increase of 34% in ticket prices on these routes and reported: “We see prices for flights between Asia-Pacific and Europe dramatically exceeding prices from the preceding three years.

“The same price hike can be seen for flights between Asia-Pacific and North America.

“These price rises are likely driven by . . . the major reductions in capacity around the world [and] the fact that the majority of travel is essential or repatriation flights.”

Skytra added “all regions have picked up their pricing compared to previous weeks”. But it suggested the fare increases on EU-Asia-Pacific services represent “a potential new norm for significantly hiked flight prices”.

Mark Howarth, Skytra chief executive, said: “Bookings are beginning to pick up again as passengers start to undertake essential travel.

“We’re observing a new pricing equilibrium driven by an adjustment in flight capacity and demand reviving from extraordinarily low levels. “

Howarth added: “It is an evolving picture and affects prices in each market in a different way.” But he said: “While we remain in a very early stage of recovery, it’s reassuring to see a continued rise in demand.”

Skytra’s comparison of forward bookings for North America in the week to May 10 suggested “an increase in bookings in many markets” particularly in the fourth quarter of the year.

It reported: “We see forward bookings for trips within North America slowly rebounding for the remainder of 2020 . . . which implies travellers in North America are regaining confidence in booking.”


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