June 20, 2021

Air fares face turbulence when flights slowly restart

Air fares should fall when flights restart but then rise by at least 50%, warns a global airline industry body.

Airlines are keen to get planes back in the skies quickly which could lead to over-capacity, says the International Air Transport Association (Iata).

With passenger demand likely to remain low this should put pressure on carriers to reduce the cost of flights.

But if airlines are forced to keep middle seats free they will need to raise air fares significantly.

Under current social distancing proposals, airlines may be required to keep middle seats free which would have a major impact on their profitability, as they would be forced to fly with fewer passengers. Michael O’Leary, the boss of Ryanair, said keeping middle seats empty was “idiotic”.

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