Home/ News / THIS is what is costing your airfares to double pre-pandemic levels in 2023

Airfares in Asia have seen a surge almost doubling what it was in the pre-pandemic times. This comes even though airfares have cooled down in other continents like North America and Europe. 

A report on CNN states that in some countries, customers are paying twice of what they did four years ago. According to American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT), a business class ticket from Paris to Shanghai that would have cost approximately over 4.5 lakhs in 2019 has now doubled to 9.46 lakhs in 2023. 

2023 is seeing sky-high airfares for travelling to and from any Asian country. Experts have attributed this to a variety of reasons. Several reports have suggested that airfares in Asia have gone up 33% in February 2023, than it was in February 2019. 

During the same period, Europe and North America saw a rise of 12% and 17% in airfares respectively. The sky-high prices in Asia-pacific are evident of uneven economic recovery that the world is coming into from the pandemic induced lockdown. 

What is driving this surge in airfares?

Experts say that soaring costs, labor shortages and the closure of Russian airspace are all pushing up prices.

Covid restriction and reopening: Experts have suggested that most countries in Asia are in the nascent stage of reopening their borders, as opposed to the countries in Europe and North America. Most Asian destinations, such as Japan and South Korea, only reopened for travel in 2022.

Further, China only lifted quarantine restrictions for international arrivals in January after three years and last week resumed issuing visas for all visitors, including tourists.

Russia closes airspace: Russia sealed off its airspace to airlines from dozens of countries as its invasion of Ukraine started.

As a result, many flights have been forced to reroute, making trips longer and more expensive. The restrictions have remained, and those most heavily impacted are between Asia and North America or Europe. 

Rising oil prices: The cost of fuel itself has skyrocketed, too. Experts have said that airlines are struggling with the incurred higher costs and due to rise in fuel prices, higher expenses and the need to retains flight crew, who has been out of commission during the pandemic. 

Will the prices go down anytime soon?

The problem isn’t expected to end anytime soon.

Economy fares to Asia from North America and Europe are set to rise 9.5% and 9.8% this year from last year, respectively, Amex GBT forecasts show. The latter is almost double the projected price jump for European economy routes to other geographies. A similar outlook is expected for the business class cabin.

Impact on consumers

Despite the sticker shock for some travelers, experts don’t believe people will be deterred from taking trips, or that the overall recovery of the sector will be damaged. Some airlines have also deftly adapted to an outcry over prices by offering catchy discounts, reported CNN

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Updated: 25 Mar 2023, 06:03 PM IST
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