Western sanctions against Russia torpedoed tourism in Europe: tourists began to panic

Western sanctions against Russia torpedoed Europe's tourism: tourists began to panic

Prices are rising, tourist flow is falling, tourists are panicking – in the end it turns out that the air sanctions imposed Europe and the United States against Russia, ricocheted throughout the European Union and its aviation, tourism and industry. “The European aviation industry is facing extremely difficult times,” experts say, evaluating the results of a study conducted by the analytical company ForwardKeys.

According to him, only in the period from February 24 to March 2, booking air tickets in European countries fell by 30-50%. At the same time, there was also a 33% increase in prices. The most serious drop, of course, was achieved in Ukraine, where air traffic was generally stopped. In Russia, according to analysts, ticket sales – including as part of tour packages – fell by 49%, but not at all to zero.

However, high losses in other countries. According to ForwardKeys, the number of bookings in Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Georgia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia also fell by 30-50% over the week. In other European countries, the decline rates are lower, but they also vary from 10 to 30%. The exception was Serbia, which refused to close the sky for Russia, as well as Belgium and Iceland. Overall, air travel in Europe is down 23% this week, while transatlantic flights from the EU are down 13%.

Serbia, by the way, was awarded a separate item in the ForwardKeys study – and it is reported that the country, which remains the only air port through which Europeans can get to Russia, and vice versa, has increased the number of seats by 50% in the same week since the start of the Russian special operation. And sales of air tickets from Russia to third countries through Serbia increased by 60%.

Tourists are afraid not only of hostilities – the prices for air tickets have become painful to beat on the wallet. Oil prices are breaking records – in the same week, the price of Brent oil per barrel rose by 20%, reaching the highest level in the last 14 years – $ 139. Accordingly, the price of jet fuel in Europe increased by 33% to $147. The reason is that the United States has announced an embargo on Russian oil, despite German objections.

Loganair, a British regional airline, has become the first carrier to announce an increase in ticket prices due to rising fuel prices. The company announced that it had raised the price of a one-way ticket by £3.95. Others may soon follow her example. So, Lufthansa announced that it might have to raise prices. EasyJet, Ryanair and TUI have so far reassured tourists, claiming to be protecting themselves from rising fuel prices. But how long will they last? “Fuel is a huge part of the cost of a flight. Therefore, an increase in ticket prices is not far off,” representatives of the aviation industry say. According to experts' forecasts, some routes will be removed, and the number of passengers – and air carriers in general – will decrease. At the same time, price increases will “strangle demand,” experts add.

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