Flying has become a luxury. The times when one could make short trips abroad without spending a fortune seem to have been archived. International connections have become less viable. Is the era of low cost over? So it is feared, after Ryanair’s chief executive Michael O’Leary in recent days told the BBC that in five years their minimum rate will go from 10 to 50 euros.
In reality today these figures make us smile: leaving soon, for example, from Cagliari to London and back costs a lot. Ryanair, one way (for Stansted airport) on 30 August: € 337.49; on September 1st, 206.19 euros. The return is cheaper: 54.99 euros on 5 September, 34.24 euros on 6 September, 104.74 euros on 10 September. Summing up: the flight to and from the British capital – net of priority boarding, seat selection and baggage fees – costs an average of 300 euros.
Let’s take Easyjet, same dates, Elmas-Gatwick-Elmas, 376.36 euros.
Ita Airways, Cagliari-Heathrow with a stopover in Rome, in economy light (the seat if you choose you pay) is 567.14 euros.
“It’s true, flying is for the rich, and for Sardinians, as always, the situation is even more difficult than for other Italians and Europeans,” underlines Giorgio Vargiu, regional president of Adiconsum. “In addition to the enormously increased ticket prices, traveling by plane has become a risk these days, you don’t know if you can return with the flight booked or if it will be canceled and what ups and downs you will have to pay to get home”. Not only that, “such expensive tickets will keep many people away from our island, where even rental cars, accommodation facilities, all tourist services are too expensive”.
The price increases
According to a ranking of the National Consumers Union, airline tickets are at the top of the thirty biggest increases in a year: European flights have soared by 168.4%, intercontinental ones by 125.7%, national ones by 27. %.
“Why these increases? Energy costs have grown dramatically for all airlines, and low cost airlines have been hit by an avalanche of wage claims from their employees. Then there is a problem of uncertainty, it is not possible to plan in the medium-long term ”, explains Italo Meloni, professor of Transport Planning at the University of Cagliari.
“There is also another aspect: after the pandemic, when it was possible to resume traveling, everyone wanted to regain possession of this opportunity, the demand grew enormously, and this also influenced the rise in air ticket prices”. Of course – he continues – “with very high rates there will be people who can no longer afford to move, but we are in a historical moment in which families have to completely review all their expenses and their lifestyle, they will have to reconsider their vacation plans. in the next years”.
Giuliano Frau of the Adoc says: «Is it the fault of the expensive fuel? I am convinced that we are making a big profit, the increases are not justified, when crude oil rises we record a surge in all prices, but when it falls, as we are seeing now, an adequate decrease does not follow ».
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