Will Air Travel Get More Expensive?
Air travel has never been cheaper than it is today. The rise of budget airlines and various cost-saving measures implemented by full-service carriers have made it possible for more people to fly than ever before. However, the COVID-19 pandemic brought the aviation industry to a grinding halt, causing significant financial losses for airlines, airports, and the entire travel industry. With the pandemic still raging on, many travelers are wondering whether air travel will get more expensive in the future. In this blog post, we will explore this question and provide some insight into the future of airfare prices.
Why Air Travel Might Get More Expensive?
The COVID-19 pandemic caused airlines to cancel thousands of flights, leading to a sharp decrease in demand for air travel. To stay afloat, airlines have resorted to drastic cost-cutting measures, such as laying off employees, reducing salaries, and eliminating routes. Nevertheless, the industry failed to avoid significant losses, and many airlines have been forced to declare bankruptcy. When airlines are struggling financially, they may have little choice but to raise fares to recover some of their lost revenue.
Another reason why air travel might get more expensive is the increasing costs of safety and hygiene measures. With the COVID-19 pandemic still a concern, airlines have implemented new procedures to ensure their passengers’ safety, including disinfecting planes before every flight, providing personal protective equipment to passengers and crew, and limiting onboard service. All these safety measures come at a cost, and airlines may pass them on to passengers through higher fares.
Furthermore, the travel industry’s recovery is expected to be slow and gradual, with international air travel predicted to take even longer to rebound. These factors may lead to decreased competition among airlines, giving surviving airlines more pricing power. Airlines might seize this opportunity to raise fares to offset their losses as they wait for travel demand to stabilize and gradually pick up over the coming years.
Why Air Travel Might Not Get More Expensive?
On the other hand, some experts believe that air travel might not get more expensive in the future. One reason is that low fuel prices can help keep airfares affordable. Fuel is one of the most significant costs for airlines, and lower fuel prices can result in lower fares for passengers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, global oil prices experienced a significant decline, and while it is difficult to predict the future, some experts believe that oil prices may not return to pre-pandemic levels for some time. This outlook could be good news for passengers concerned about rising airfares.
In addition, some airlines may decide to focus on revenue generated from ancillary services, such as baggage fees, seat selection, and onboard meals. These fees have become increasingly common among airlines and can account for a considerable portion of an airline’s revenue. By focusing on these fees, rather than raising fares, airlines can continue to offer competitive prices while generating additional revenue streams. By operating in this manner, airlines can maintain affordable fares, regardless of the impact of the pandemic.
So, will air travel get more expensive? The answer is, it depends. There are several factors to consider, such as competition, fuel prices, ancillary revenue streams, and the speed of the industry’s recovery. While air travel may become more expensive due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still factors that may keep fares affordable. We must remember that while the pandemic brought many industries to their knees, the travel industry has always managed to recover. It may take time, but the industry’s recovery is inevitable. When it does happen, the question of whether air travel will get more expensive may become less pressing.
As travelers, the best we can do is to stay informed and be flexible. With the situation still in flux, it is important to monitor and comply with airline and travel advisories. In this way, we can safely travel when possible, ready to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.