Of Costa Ketsietzis
The prospects for the recovery of the aviation industry are threatened by the war in Ukraine and the spike in oil prices, which has affected the prices of aviation fuel, respectively.
As travel, at least within the EU, becomes easier and with fewer restrictions and conditions, flights become more expensive with airline operators constantly changing airline reservation calculations.
According to S&P Global Platts, the average price of aviation fuel in February was 262 cents per gallon, 65% higher than last February and 30% higher than the corresponding month of 2019.
After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, prices soared to 297 cents per gallon and on March 4 were 337 cents per gallon, almost double the price of aviation fuel a year before and after the US-imposed Russian oil embargo. prices are approaching a 14-year record.
At a more direct level, the war in Ukraine mainly affects air routes from Asia to Europe, prolonging the duration and cost of flights, as planes bypass the airspace of Ukraine and Russia. However, industry analysts note that everything will depend on the duration of the war.
However, it is assumed that if aviation fuel prices remain high for a long time, the recovery of air travel and the return to normalcy of companies will have some delays compared to estimates before the Russian invasion.
The war in Ukraine and fuel prices still do not meet the expectations that have been cultivated in the tourism industry for the course of bookings this summer, especially in the strong summer destinations such as our country.
The American airlines have planned a record number of daily flights from the USA to Athens this summer, as the American ambassador to Greece stated yesterday during the arrival ceremony of the first direct flight of Delta Airlines from the USA at the “El. Venizelos” airport.
Moreover, in the face of the pandemic that has caused the biggest crisis in the aviation industry in recent decades, the latest news raises optimism among aviation executives for further easing of travel restrictions.
On Sunday, Ireland became the first European country to completely lift all restrictive measures imposed by the coronavirus. Travelers to Ireland no longer need to show a vaccination certificate or a certificate of illness, nor do they need any form of test to enter the country.
Other countries, such as Greece, are gradually easing the restrictions, as we are a breath away from the start of the summer season.
As provided by the latest notam of foreign flights with the conditions of entry in Greece from Tuesday 15 March, the arrivals of all passengers of foreign flights will be made to our country without completing the PLF (Passenger Locator Form).