Travellers will find their holidays are “pricier” this year as the war in Ukraine impacts the global price of fuel.
Russia is a huge producer of fossil fuels and many European countries rely on its exports to keep the lights on. While western countries have not yet explicitly sanctioned energy companies yet, a ban on Russian oil and gas is being considered and as a result the price of a barrel of Brent crude has soared to US$139.13 - close to the all-time record of $147.50 recorded in 2008.
Moreover, the decision by Russia to ban western airlines from using its airspace means that many routes will now take longer and so cost more to run.
“You’re going to look at airlines having to do longer routes - particularly between Europe and Asia,” Pol Ó Conghaile, travel editor at the Irish Independent, told The Pat Kenny Show.
“And I was just trying to tot up what that might actually mean… If you’re doing an 11 hour trip, say from London to Tokyo, or a long route like that, it could add about $25,000 to the cost of the return flight or a $120 per ticket.
“Airlines hedge their fuel prices, so they buy it in advance to cushion themselves against stuff like this but there’s such inflationary pressure at the moment that I wouldn’t be surprised to hear people start talking about fuel surcharges.”
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“So it could definitely hit us in the pocket and look, holidaying is just like every other industry at the moment . It’s been hit by energy costs, fuel costs, higher staffing and so on.
“So I’m afraid it looks like our holidays may be a little pricier this year too."
Holidays in Russia
With its economy in freefall and police repression of those who dissent against the war, Irish people have been advised by the Government not to travel to Russia. Mr Ó Conghaile said those with travel insurance who booked before the conflict kicked off should be entitled to a refund:
“Russia was a popular, if kind of exotic, short break option for people,” he said.
“Irish tour operators have all been cancelling that.
“I mean they have little choice because the airlines and the cruise lines are no longer going there but they’re actively stopping booking’s for the rest of the year at this stage… Russia’s very much off the agenda.”
Main image: Travellers pass through Dublin Airport on the first day of Brexit on February 1st, 2020. Picture by: Stephen Barnes/Travel / Alamy Stock Photo