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8 May, 2023 13:02

Era of cheap flights is over – travel giant

High fuel prices and recovering demand spell the end of low-cost travel, the TUI Group warns
Era of cheap flights is over – travel giant

Last-minute bargains and cheap air fares are a thing of the past, according to the multinational travel firm TUI Group.

In an interview with German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, company CEO Sebastian Ebel said high fuel prices, along with demand outstripping supply, have made vacation trips more expensive, especially on long-distance journeys.

“In 2023 there will be no ‘last-minute summer’ like there used to be. On the contrary: shortly before departure, prices will tend to be higher rather than lower, because hoteliers and airlines know that there are still a lot of bookings at short notice. Spontaneous bargains will be the absolute exception. Booking early gives choice and good prices,” Ebel explained.

Cheap flights for less than €50 will no longer exist, he added.

According to data released in March in the UK, the amount spent on holiday and airline travel soared 19% and 34%, respectively, from a year ago.

Last summer, the price of jet fuel spiked at more than $175 a barrel amid the broader energy crisis triggered by western sanctions against Russia, a major energy supplier. Jet fuel costs have since decreased in line with crude oil prices, but they still remain above its long-term average.

Air traffic will soar to pre-pandemic levels on most routes this year, the United Nations aviation agency said in February, as most travel restrictions connected to the Covid-19 pandemic have been removed globally.

Headquartered in Hanover, TUI Group is one of the largest tourism companies in the world, employing 60,000 people and offering trips to 180 destinations.

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