CYPRUS: Airfares to London and Athens spike 70% after Thomas Cook demise

Cypriots seeking a late holiday escape to London or Athens must dig deep into their pockets as airfares have shot up due to the island’s flight connectivity being stunted since Thomas Cook folded.

Tickets for favourite holiday destinations such as Athens, Thessaloniki and London have increased by 60-70% say the Consumers Association.

Travel agents argue the collapse of Thomas Cook means fewer seats are available to meet demand, so airlines are cashing in.

President of the association, Marios Drousiotis told CyBC that in July airfares for flights leaving for Athens on October 14 and returning on October 20 started at €119.

Today for the same dates the price for Athens is around €191, recording an increase of over 60%.

The same goes for flights to Thessaloniki, for the same dates the price in July was €134 and now it is €223 — an increase of 66%.

To book a flight to London in July for October it cost around €197 while today the price has jumped to €345, going up 75%.

Drousiotis said that the same phenomenon occurred a year ago when Cobalt folded, saying it is not easy to fill the void created by the demise of a popular airline.

Honeywell Travel CEO Mary told Stockwatch that prices for London have increased to €600 from €400 in a matter of a few days with prices expected to fluctuate according to how developments will unfold.

“A major airline which had flights to many European cities has collapsed. The travel public will have to look for find alternatives. Because of the high demand, companies are raising prices, ”said Top Kinisis CEO Dinos Kakkouras.

Vasilis Stamataris, president of the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA), notes that prices have yet to be stabilized since the demise of Cyprus-based low cost carrier Cobalt.

“Too many events have taken place, which have sustained the turbulence in the industry”. He noted that a number of flights to Paris and London were lost with Cobalt’s demise but were not replaced.

He said that despite efforts from stakeholders to fill the void created by the demise of the two airlines, it will take some time before prices settle as airfares will continue to be high in the coming months.

“We conducted a survey to see when prices would return to levels before Thomas Cook’s collapse,” said Stamataris.

“For London, we expect them to return to normal in the first week of November, for Thessaloniki in the last week of November while prices for Athens will soar until the end of the year, while December will see prices rising even further”.

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