Air passengers in Europe are benefiting from air fares that are undercutting inflation, as the market continues its post-COVID recovery, new data from aviation industry group the International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows.
Latest traffic figures show that European carriers sit just 3.6% down on the 2019 peak. Europeans are traveling despite the inflationary environment: In June, average air fares in Europe were around 16% higher than pre-pandemic. However, that is lagging the average consumer prices index for the EU, which in June stood at 20% over pre-pandemic.
“European air travel is continuing to recover strongly and is on track to exceed the 2019 benchmark in 2024. The competitiveness of Europe’s air transport market is holding air fare inflation at 16% – four percentage points below the rises that we have seen in the broad consumer price index. Considering the extreme volatility of jet fuel prices and increases in workforce salaries this is a significant achievement and stands in contrast to the continually increasing charges being pushed by our infrastructure suppliers,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.
“The recovery of Europe’s air transport market is bringing with it even more competitive market conditions. Consumers will see that with more routes and more airlines to choose from. In total, last year saw 20 new airlines born in Europe. This is important because a more competitive air transport market will make Europe a more competitive place to do business,” said Mr Walsh.