Airfares Are Now About 80% More Expensive Compared to Pre-COVID-19 Period

If you are planning for a getaway to international destinations for the upcoming holidays, you might need to have some tissues on standby because the airfares are bloody expensive, if they aren’t already sold out.

Airfares from Singapore are up to 78% more this December school holidays, compared to the same period before the COVID-19 pandemic struck.

The Sky-High Prices of Airfares

Regardless of which travel class you are taking, or where you are flying to, flight tickets are far more expensive.

For instance, one-way tickets to the Philippines are seeing an average price increase of 70% across all cabin classes for adults.

The cost of an economy-class return ticket from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore has been hiked up by 50% from 19 Dec to 31 Dec.

Japan and Korea… The less that is said about those prices, the better.

In other news, airfares to Europe have risen by 10% to 20% with prices ranging between $1,500 to $1,800.

This doesn’t include London though, surprisingly, probably because their current eco-political climate is terrible, no thanks to Liz Truss.

Why Are Airfares So Expensive?

The soaring prices can be attributed to three reasons:

  • Higher travel demand
  • Carriers have lesser capacity
  • Higher fuel prices

With the relaxation of borders and COVID-19-related restrictions, especially in the Asia region, the demand for travel is seeing a huge spike.

People who have been trapped in domestic borders for the past three years are now raring to go out and enjoy themselves, especially in popular destinations like Japan, Korea, and Singapore.

However, the various airlines have not been able to keep up this demand.

Many carriers aren’t operating the same schedules that they had pre-pandemic.

Singapore Airlines used to have three daily flights to Osaka’s Kansai Airport in 2019, but now there is only one daily flight.

Furthermore, some airlines are facing operational issues, such as cabin crew shortages and the lack of revenue from the past few years to bring their supply/carrying capacity back to a suitable pace.

To add more salt to the wound, fuel prices are at an all-time high.

The rising energy prices is a multi-layered problem:

For one, as the global economy recovers, we are facing high rates of inflation that is driving up the prices.

Alongside the increase in demand for energy due to the recovery of various energy-intensive industries (manufacturing, agriculture, etc.), seasonal countries are also gearing up for winter, which requires a lot of energy to tide through comfortably,

Then there’s the Ukraine War, whereby Russia—one of the biggest exporters of natural gas and oil—is locked in a conflict of their own making. This brings down the global supply of energy.

More recently, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) recently announced that they will be making a large cut to their oil output for the next two years, despite the growing world demand for energy.

The effect of these factors only compound and exacerbate the prices of flight tickets.

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However, some airlines have slashed their airfares for certain destinations during the Christmas and New Year period.

Singapore Airlines flights to Tokyo during that period have been cut from around $2,800 to about $1,600, while airfares to Taiwan have dropped to $1,000.

Economy airfares for full-service airlines and low-cost carriers to locations in the Asia region have dipped by at least 10%.

EU Holidays have also slashed the airfares to Japan and Taiwan by 20%.

For the most part though, most airlines have no reason to give discounted prices for flight tickets because this is the prime time for them to earn more revenue.

Most of the flights during the holiday season are flying full, not empty.

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