- BBC News World
The prices of plane tickets will rise “without a doubt” due to the increase in fuel costs, warned one of the highest authorities of the airline industry.
Oil prices have soared at a time when economies are reeling from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
These costs will be passed on to consumerssaid Willie Walsh, director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The former CEO of British Airways also considered that Heathrow airport “should have been better prepared” to avoid a recent disruption in its services.
Heathrow responded that Walsh’s comments were “misinformed”.
Tourists should prepare for rising flight prices, Walsh told the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme.
“Flying will be more expensive for consumers, without a doubt,” he said, adding that the “high price of oil” will be “reflected in higher ticket prices.”
Will my flights be canceled this summer?
Jet2 assures that the airports are “woefully ill-prepared”.
Oil prices were already rising as demand recovered in economies that had begun to pick up steam after the Covid pandemic.
The consequences of the war in Ukraine prices have skyrocketed. The United States announced a complete ban on oil imports from Russia and the United Kingdom will phase out Russian supplies by the end of the year.
European Union leaders have promised to block most Russian oil imports by the end of 2022.
This has increased demand for oil from other producers, implying higher prices.
Walsh explained that fuel prices are at record levels and that “oil is the biggest element in an airline’s cost base.
“It is inevitable that ultimately high oil prices will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher ticket prices.”
Along with increases in ticket prices, UK airline passengers have suffered flight cancellations due to major disruptions at some airports such as Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester.
Walsh said passengers whose flights are canceled may not have to pay more to rebook.
But he warned that airports that “cannot cope” with the situation should adjust your schedules now “to be able to accommodate as many people as possible.”
He singled out Heathrow in particular, which has recently had problems with aircraft refueling and baggage handling.
“Definitely Heathrow should have prepared better,” Walsh said.
“They argued that airlines should operate at least 80% of their slots during the summer period.”
But, he concluded, “they clearly did not provide sufficient resources to deal with that level of activity.”
Walsh admitted that many of the problems affecting airlines and airports were due to personnel problemsBut he said he has “no regrets” about making big cuts to British Airways’ workforce during the pandemic, when he was its chairman.
Heathrow Airport responded to Walsh’s comments on Sunday.
“Aviation is under considerable pressure as demand increases – at Heathrow we have faced a 40-year level of growth in just four months – and what we need is collaborative work and investment in services to protect passengers, No misinformed comments of retired airline presidents looking to justify their own bonuses,” a Heathrow spokesman said.
“Unlike Mr. Walsh, our primary concern is not a blame game or a evasion of responsibility, but what is best for passengers.”
The spokesman added that Heathrow had requested that airlines “limit demand based on capacity and this has enabled the vast majority of travelers to fly without problems in recent months”.
“The most important risk to travel remains airspace limitation across Europe and the lack of airline ground handlers.
“We will work closely with all of our airport partners and take action where necessary to ensure we can provide passengers this summer with the safe and reliable travel they deserve,” the spokesperson said.
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