Brussels – The European Commission is investigating the recent increase in air ticket prices in Europe. The European Commissioner for Transport, Adina Valeanová, told the Financial Times (FT). According to the newspaper, some airlines achieved record profits during the summer thanks to the increase in ticket prices.
Valean told the newspaper that EU officials are now looking into the details of “what exactly is happening in the market and why”. The European Commission has no right to regulate ticket prices. Its actions, however, increase the pressure on airlines in connection with the increase in ticket prices, which is behind the growth in demand for travel and problems with a lack of transport capacity, writes the Financial Times.
Average ticket prices in Europe were 20 to 30 percent higher this summer than in 2019, according to EU data. Valean said it did not plan to interfere with the functioning of the air transport market, but said the European Commission needed more detailed data on the factors that led to increasing the price of air tickets.
“We are still investigating because we do not have a complete and detailed explanation,” said the European Commissioner. According to her, the Commission is concerned, among other things, that higher ticket prices could undermine the accessibility of peripheral regions of the EU, such as islands, whose connection with the rest of the EU is dependent on air transport.
In the EU, airlines have a free hand in setting ticket prices. According to the newspaper, the liberalized air transport market has been reducing ticket prices for a long time, but this year’s increase in demand, together with the lack of planes, has led to an increase in prices. Airline prices are also pushed up by rising fuel and employee costs, writes the Financial Times.
Valean expressed concern that ticket prices will remain at higher levels due to an imbalance between demand for travel and a limited supply of new aircraft. “We expect that capacity will not grow at the same pace as demand,” she said.
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