Flight prices up 44%

Portugal sees smallest price rise

Flight price increase graphic

The Times among others reports that flight prices rose by 44.1% in the past year as airlines capitalised on pent-up demand for holidays. The Office for National Statistics said that the leap in prices was also caused by a reduction in the number of flights operating and the soaring cost of jet fuel. The flight price increase was the largest increase since the late 1980s, official figures show. It was the first December since 2019 when people could travel to many long-haul destinations without Covid restrictions.

Reporting on this article I am struck by the anomaly that flight prices to Madeira remain low – I can’t speak for package holiday prices – with Ryanair tickets from the UK for sale for as little as €12.99.

The news came as consumer watchdog Which? found that the price of package holidays had jumped by 19% year on year as operators face growing costs. Of the six holiday destinations (Spain, Greece, Portugal, Italy, Turkey and Cyprus) compared by the consumer magazine, Greece had the steepest price rises. A week’s holiday in the country costs on average 30% more than last year, with an average price tag of £867 per person this summer. Analysts said the main reason for the fare rises was aviation fuel prices.

Prices have risen by a fifth or more in Italy, Spain and Turkey. The smallest rises in flight prices were in Portugal, with the cost of a week’s holiday rising by 7% on average, to £705 per person. Despite a significant rise in average price, Spain has the cheapest getaways, with a week’s package holiday costing £693 per person. Which? used data from the comparison site Travelsupermarket.com and tracked summer 2023 holiday prices between November 1 and January 3, before comparing them to 2022 prices in the same destinations.

Skyscanner, the world’s biggest flight comparison platform, said that bookings for UK departures are up 50 per cent this year compared with the same period in 2019. “We’re seeing demand for holidays is extremely high going into 2023, and bookings in the first and second week in January exceeded the volume during the corresponding week in 2019,” said Laura Lindsay, Skyscanner’s trends expert. “This large wave of interest shows that travellers are eager to make plans, as well as continuing to make up for lost time.”Which? also found that the cost of a night’s stay in a three or four-star hotel in the six destinations had risen by an average of 23 per cent this year, from £140 in Easter 2022 to £170 on average this year. In addition, data from Kayak, the hotel comparison site, revealed that UK hotel rates had risen by almost a fifth this Easter, from £100 to £119.

Rising fuel prices

The BBC reports that fuel accounts for around one-third of an airline’s operating costs and prices have been rising. This has been passed on through to flight prices, according to aviation expert and consultant John Strickland.

Sally Gethin, travel and aviation analyst, said airlines could not “absorb the cost increase” of fuel. She added that flight prices had risen “because of increased long-haul journey times to avoid Russian and Ukrainian airspace, as well as a global shortage in spare parts and engines”.

“The UK also has the highest passenger tax in Europe (APD) which is beyond the airlines’ control, and this tax is also passed on to customers,” through flight prices she added.

Mr Strickland also explained there had been “upward pressure on staff costs” as companies sought to restore staffing in a competitive jobs market, having had to cut staffing levels during the pandemic.

COVID-19 in Madeira: updates can be found in an earlier post

Flight prices up 44% 1

All the incidental news from Madeira – up to 60 reports per day – is being picked up automatically, translated, and posted on our sister website, madeiraislandnews, no matter how trivial:

10 thoughts on “Flight prices up 44%”

  1. Give it some time, prices will surely rise for Madeira being an island it be more expensive to get there should put off the average backpacking / budgeting tourists.

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  2. We have just booked Jet2 for our trip end of September and gone up about 25% from last year booking nearly 10 months in advance. Never really know if worth waiting but prices seem to rise and cannot risk leaving when dates are fixed. It is annoying that they seem to have competitive deals for holidays which include 22k luggage when we have to pay a high price for luggage and seat bookings. Seems to be getting harder to book good flight only deals unless want to use Ryanair!

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  3. We have booked our flights to Madeira at the usual time of year i.e. 2nd week in October for 2 weeks. In 2022 for two return tickets we paid £621.40 and for 2023 we had to pay £903.20. Jet2 is the only airline to fly from Leeds Bradford to Funchal so we have to pay their prices or travel to a different further away airport. Not so cheap!!!!

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    • We are the same. Jet2 is the only carrier in Scotland (Edinburgh and Glasgow) to Madeira and the prices keep going up and up.
      About time there was some competition to Jet2. Though I would suggest they are the best at what they do.

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      • Jet2 have a monopoly at certain airports. Early March from Birmingham, Jet2 £418, With discount.
        Early March, from Manchester, Ryanair £247. Two people, reserved seats, two hold bags. Same date. Ain’t competition great !

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  4. Well it seems that every one is having the same problem even me that I live in mainland Portugal Sintra historic area it was need to book in advance and also accommodation before everything was gone . If I left to near of the time for flights and accommodation will be nothing left and be paying higher prices . And been the same problem for many years even when I did live in UK from 1999 until 2019 it was always need to book in advance to go see my mother in Madeira . And I did find quit astonish that even trying to find accommodation now everything was gone complete .

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