The prices of plane tickets are exploding… and are not about to go down again

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Airline ticket prices are exploding… and are not about to come down

Airlines and airports are struggling to respond to demand from travellers, who have to pay more and more for a ticket.

Ticket prices flights to some international destinations have soared, a trend that is gaining momentum as airport capacity is exceeded.

If you plan to fly for your vacation this summer, you will have to expect a particularly high bill. For some destinations, such as Europe, ticket prices have doubled compared to last year. And this trend is not expected to fade anytime soon.

Unsurprisingly, like any sector of economic activity, inflation has played a […] role in the tourism sector, underlines Michel Archambault, professor emeritus of tourism and founder of the Transat Tourism Chair of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), on the show Facts First.

For example, you now have to pay around $1,200 for a Montreal-Porto flight, compared to $770 in October 2022.

According to him, the rise in the price of fuel oil, the scarcity of labor and the limited number seats have led to heavy losses for air carriers, who have to inflate their prices.

Hefty bill for trips to Europe


Heavy bill for trips to Europe . 6-minute audio content, ICI Première show. Listen to audio.

Despite skyrocketing prices, demand is there, according to Jacques Nantel, professor emeritus at HEC Montreal. Households, which have been deprived of travel during the pandemic, are ready to return to their habits.

“It's a bit as if consumers had been put in a presto for three years […] and there, we start to open the lid and we see that it explodes. »

— Jacques Nantel, professor emeritus at HEC Montréal

In this context, airports are operating at full capacity to accommodate the many travellers. Airport capacity is completely overwhelmed, that's why all airports in the world are canceling flights, notes Mehran Ebrahimi, director of the Observatory of Aeronautics and Civil Aviation and professor at UQAM.

All the infrastructure is overused, particularly because airlines have had to store part of their fleet due to lack of staff.

“You need about 15 to 20 pilots per plane. So if you include five planes, that's about 75 pilots. These pilots, we don't have them. »

— Mehran Ebrahimi, director of the Observatory of Aeronautics and Civil Aviation and professor at UQAM

In Europe and the United States, travelers can always turn to low-cost airlines, such as EasyJet or Southwest. The situation is quite different in Canada, which is a very small market internationally, which favors market concentration, as Jacques Nantel points out.

Unfortunately, the regulations n was not favorable for the implementation of a real low-cost in Canada, deplores Mr. Archambault.

M. Ebrahimi agrees: the conditions are not currently met to allow new players to emerge on the market. Yet the government's role is to encourage competition, according to the professor.

Asked about the recent federal government approval of WestJet's purchase of Sunwing , he evokes a scandalous merger taking place despite the fears expressed by the Competition Bureau.

We have just created two duopolies, therefore Westjet-Sunwing in the West and Air Canada in the East, and then all the other companies will suffer.

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