THE boss of Jet2 has warned that holidaymakers should expect air fares to continue to rise – due to new environmental restrictions.
While plane ticket prices have reached all time lows, due to travel bans and a drop in passenger numbers, they are likely to go up again post-Covid, and stay that way.
Airlines such as Ryanair offered flights for as little as £5 during the pandemic – although the cheap deals are unlikely to be around for much longer.
Jet2 boss Steve Heapy warned that it was due to climate change and an expected barrage of environmental taxes, legislation and new related costs over the next decade.
He said: "I think a lot of things in life are going to become more expensive and we've got to accept that that will be the case."
Mr Heapy's main concern was that governments could impose consumption taxes on airlines, potentially hurting demand and making air travel accessible largely to the wealthy.
Low-emission bio-based fuels are also in short supply and can cost at least three times more than kerosene. That, combined with the threat of new flying taxes, could spell trouble for airlines.
"We've got to be seen as an industry to be taking the right steps to decarbonize as quickly as possible," he said, calling on Britain to raise its investment in sustainable aviation fuels.
However, he also said that demand will return to pre-COVID levels despite rising environmental consciousness and "flight shaming," referring to social pressure to avoid flying over emissions concerns.
Jet2's bookings for this winter and summer 2022 have shot up since Britain relaxed travel rules earlier this month.
"We could be in for a very good winter but it all depends on what the government does," he said, adding that holiday companies needed stability and not the last-minute rule changes that have characterised Britain's travel rules so far in 2021.
Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has also warned that prices will “dramatically” surge as Brit tourists rush to fly to Europe next summer.
The demand for trips abroad will outpace capacity, meaning Brits emerging from months of Covid lockdown will face spiralling flight and accommodation costs, he added.
He explained: "There is going to be about 20 per cent less short-haul capacity in Europe in 2022 with a dramatic recovery in demand.
"And the reason why I think prices will be dramatically higher is that there’s less capacity."
Last week, the traffic light system was scrapped, leaving just a red "travel ban list," with more restrictions on holiday testing to be lifted next month.
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