Higher air fares push US travellers away from Europe
The cost of flights to many cities in Europe is 11% higher, on average, than 2011. Tickets from the US to Paris this summer, priced in January, were 22% more expensive, according to online travel agency Kayak.com, and to London 14% more. Stockholm and Munich are up by more than 20% compared to last year. Some trans-Atlantic return flights cost around $3,000 or more. Air fares could get even pricier as the London Olympics (July 27 to August 12) draw nearer.
The combination of big events, high oil prices, a healthier economy and reduced airline capacity are pushing air fares upwards.
Instead, OTAs report that travellers from the USA are buying tickets to cities like Istanbul where airfares and hotel rates are down by around 5%. Crisis-hit countries like Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland are also attracting this year’s American tourists. And many US travellers are looking closer to home instead of Northern Europe – Philadelphia, Boston and San Francisco, for example, where air fares on domestic routes have declined in 2012.
The Wall Street Journal