For members


Why are flights to and from Austria so expensive this summer?

Airline activity to and from Austria has almost fully recovered after Covid lockdowns and travel bans during the pandemic, but prices are soaring.

Why are flights to and from Austria so expensive this summer?

If you’ve been searching for flights to or from Austria during the summer, you may have noticed that prices are higher compared to previous years and even pre-pandemic times.

This trend of soaring prices is not limited to Austria alone; it is happening across Europe.

Ryanair Austria head Andreas Gruber added that the days of flying almost for free are over: “There will be no more 10-euro tickets”, he said in September 2022. Unfortunately, airfare inflation has continued to rise.

In March 2023, plane tickets were, on average, 20.1 percent more expensive than the same month in 2022. International flights saw a price increase of 19.8 percent in April 2023 compared to the previous year, while domestic flights cost 15.5 percent more during the same 12-month period.

READ ALSO: Ryanair to raise flight ticket prices in Austria

Rush to travel

Several factors contribute to these price hikes. The unexpected rush to travel after the pandemic caught the industry off guard and led to chaos at some European airports last summer due to staffing shortages.

Despite the return of passengers, business travellers have not returned in the same numbers as before, partly due to the newfound convenience of virtual meetings. In addition, the slow recovery has impacted the profitability of specific flights, prompting some airlines to discontinue routes altogether.

READ ALSO: Airport chaos in Europe: What are your rights if flights are delayed or cancelled?

Fuel costs, which account for approximately one-third of ticket prices, are often cited as a reason for the price increase, even though the price of oil per barrel is falling. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) attributes the price hikes to the rising cost of kerosene, explaining that “high fuel prices, as well as other inflationary cost increases, can impact ticket prices if airlines are unable to absorb or avoid these costs.”

Austria’s Statistik Austria said high inflation in April (9.7 percent) was partly due to the “revived desire to travel (accompanied by rising prices for flights, accommodations and restaurants in Austria and in the most popular holiday countries”.

“The prices for package tours abroad, which are in high demand, have increased significantly compared to the previous year and are becoming an important driver of inflation for the first time in a long time”, said Statistics Austria director general Tobias Thomas.

READ ALSO: What is driving rising inflation in Austria and will the government act?

Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, noted that while fuel prices have risen by 71 percent, the average rate of the low-cost airline has increased by 31 percent, equivalent to €14. He justified the increase, stating that it remains affordable for many customers.

Furthermore, the ban on overflying Russia has increased travel time by one to two hours for certain Asian destinations, adding to the costs of long-haul flights, according to airlines.

How can I avoid spending too much money on summer travelling?

Although flights may not be as cheap as before, there are still strategies to keep costs down:

– Booking flights well in advance tends to result in cheaper tickets, as prices increase closer to the flight date. Therefore, if you still need to book your flight, now is the time to do so.

– Avoiding the peak holiday season in July and August can help save money. Instead, consider taking an early summer vacation in June or a later one in late August or early September.

– Check websites like Skyscanner and Google Flights for the cheapest airline options. These platforms can also find cheaper tickets if you’re open to making stopovers instead of flying direct.

READ ALSO: Ten ways to save money on your trip to Austria this summer

– Be flexible with your travel dates. For example, look for midweek departures or consider departing from secondary airports, which may offer lower prices compared to major airports.

– If you’re travelling within Europe, consider rail travel as an alternative to flying. The Austrian train system, operated mainly by state-owned company ÖBB, is known for its efficiency and relatively affordable prices and is highly regarded in many countries.

READ ALSO: How does Austria’s Klimaticket for national public transport work?

By employing these strategies, you can still find ways to manage costs and make your travel plans more affordable despite the current trend of rising airfare prices.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Is inflation finally subsiding in Austria?

Statistics Austria released a preliminary estimate showing that the inflation rate in May was 8.8 per cent, a decrease from the previous month's rate of 9.7 per cent. So are prices finally going to go down?

Is inflation finally subsiding in Austria?

Tobias Thomas, the Director General of Statistics Austria, attributes this decline to lower fuel prices and less price pressure on food items.

“In May 2023, inflation in Austria has clearly lost momentum,” he said. “According to a first estimate, inflation is expected to be at 8.8 percent after 9.7 percent in April. This is the lowest value since June 2022. The main reason for this decline is the uninterrupted downward trend in fuel prices. The upward trend in food prices continues to weaken.”

A similar trend was observed in Germany, where the inflation rate for goods and services decreased from 7.2 percent in April to 6.1 percent in May. According to Eurostat, the inflation for the eurozone is estimated to be at 6.1 percent – down from the 7 percent registered in April. 

READ ALSO: What will become more expensive in Austria in June?

However, despite the decline in May, inflation continues to burden many individuals significantly. 

According to calculations by the Momentum Institute, an institute affiliated with the trade union, a single-person household needs to spend an average of €405 more per month this year to maintain their standard of living compared to 2021. The highest cost increases are observed in housing and energy, amounting to an additional €117 per month, followed by transport with €81, and food with an additional cost of €71 per month. 

The challenge lies in the fact that the average increase in income of €260 does not fully offset these additional costs, resulting in a shortfall of €145 per month to maintain the standard of living experienced in 2021.

Final report by mid-June

From a large set of price data, Statistics Austria initially calculates the flash inflation estimate at the beginning of the following month. This estimate includes around 80 to 90 per cent of the prices required for the calculation. Typically, the inflation rate is accurately calculated with a deviation of only 0.1 percentage points. 

READ ALSO: What is driving rising inflation in Austria and will the government act?

The final inflation data, including inflation rates for specific product groups, are released later in the month. In the case of May 2023, this will occur on June 16th.

Statistics Austria experts previously had an indication that a wave of inflation was approaching the country due to indices for import or producer prices, which provide insights a few months ahead of the CPI data. 

However, the current indications are different, as producer prices only rose by 4.6 per cent in April. This suggests that the cost of living pressure on consumers will likely ease in the future.