Airlines are cashing in on the high demand for flights now that the coronavirus lockdown is over. There are fewer flights available and ticket prices for flights between the Balearic Islands and the Peninsula have soared by more than 50%.
"We are in contact with the General Directorate of Civil Aviation because the price increases are worrying, especially on the route between Barcelona and Mahon. This situation is very worrying because there are airlines that are returning to normal by applying higher prices than normal,” said the Minister of Mobility & Housing, Marc Pons on Tuesday.
He also acknowledged that all companies have been forced to ground more than 95% of their fleet since the State of Emergency was decreed in March.
"This situation forces them to resume their activity now with bigger losses and higher risks than normal because they don’t know how demand will evolve, but that does not justify the rise in prices they’ve made just because demand is high and there are fewer flights,” said Minister Pons.
The Government is aware of the impact of rising air transport prices and hopes that during the month of July “normal service will resume and this will result in a drop in air prices.”
“Companies are taking advantage of the increase in demand for travel to the Peninsula, hence the rise in ticket prices. The average increase exceeds 50% for Iberia Express, Air Europa, Vueling and Ryanair flights to Barcelona and Madrid,” said Francisco Mulet, Chairperson of the Group of Travel Agencies of the Balearic Islands, or Aviba.
“With the current law of supply and demand and the free market prevailing it is difficult to regulate this situation, even more so when Brussels is more in favour of free competition,” he said. “The negative effect generated by this escalation of prices is that it slows down demand which harms air connectivity.”
Mulet is annoyed that companies that are hiking their prices are also benefiting from the 75% Residents' discount.
“As a result the price increases, airlines receive a higher subsidy from the State which harms the Balearics and residents and generates doubt in Madrid about the type of discounts applied.