THE Executive Chairman of the group Globalia, which includes the airline Air Europa and travel agent Halcon Viajes, Juan Jose Hidalgo said yesterday that the rise in the cost of fuel is going to “undoubtedly” push air fares up.

Speaking at the presentation of Halcon Viajes's new logo yesterday, Hidalgo said that the current crisis in the Middle East is not only going to affect air fares but also holiday sales. He said that his company has noticed a drop in demand for package holidays to Egypt and Tunisia, destinations Air Europa is currently not flying too.

Hidalgo said that, over the years, both destinations have become some of the most favourite for Spaniards going away for Easter, but it appears that this year, people are opting for the Caribbean, the Canaries, the Balearics or other coastal Spanish destinations. The President of Halcon Viajes, Fernando Garcia, also revealed that there has been a slight drop in demand for holidays to unsettled Morocco and, as a result, Air Europa has slightly reduced the number of flights to the NorthAfrican country.

But, despite the crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean, Garcia said that business is up by ten percent on this time last year and that the travel agent's target for the Easter period is to see year-on-year trade up by 18 percent.