The BBC are reporting that there is an expectation that airfares are very likely to rise significantly as the opportunity to travel returns.
This is as a result of the move by airlines to reduce capacity by retiring their larger aircraft, most notably their fleets of Boeing 747 jets and in some cases their relatively new Airbus A380’s.
Destin8’s Commercial Director Peter Jackson commented on the News
‘This is something we have been highlighting to our clients who are now looking to plan overseas trips. Not only have airlines reduced capacity by retiring these larger aircraft and replacing them with smaller more fuel-efficient equipment they have also been pruning their schedules to reduce the frequency of flights. Additionally, airlines have also been removing entire routes from their schedules – reducing competition in the air.’ He continued ‘The net effect of this reduced capacity, particularly when there is the expected surge in demand as discussed in the BBC article is that flight prices will rise as a result. Our recommendation to clients is to use the flexibility of group contracts to secure flights at the earliest opportunity with a relatively low deposit. This allows the flight cost of a trip budget to be fixed at an early stage, giving event organisers the ability to plan the rest of a programme with confidence.’
Kathy Bradley – Groups Director at All About Flights – one of the UK’s leading specialists in Group flights also commented on the BBC article and Peter Jackson’s remarks.
‘There is an additional short-term pressure on fares for Groups in particular in that many existing bookings have been moved sometimes more than once from their original dates during 2020 and are now scheduled to travel either later this year or in the first quarter of 2022. This reduces the available number of seats for new bookings even further, and because of the use of pricing algorithms by the airlines inevitably pushes fares upwards.’ Kathy concluded her remarks ‘I agree with Peter’s observation in that the best way forward if there is an intention to travel is to secure a group booking as early as possible with a deposit payment in order to lock in a fare’.