SWISS: Cheap air travel will become a thing of the past
In a statement, the flag carrier airline of Switzerland, SWISS, has said that the age of low-cost air travel is set to come to an end. The international company predicted that a combination of new taxes and efforts by airlines to become more climate-friendly will spell the end of budget tickets for people flying out of Swiss airports.
Carbon initiatives and taxes to spell the end of low-cost flying
According to La Liberté, airline passengers travelling for work or to go on holiday will see the cost of flying rise in the coming months and years. In the article, they argued that as the impact of the pandemic and rising fuel costs ease, the price hikes associated with them will be replaced by new carbon taxes imposed by world governments and expensive initiatives by airlines to become greener.
Speaking to the newspaper, SWISS spokesperson Meike Fuhlrott said that "in the medium and long term, we expect airline tickets to become more expensive.” When asked why they could be so sure that the cost of flying would rise in the long term, she clarified that they expected all airlines to put up their prices “as efforts in favour of sustainable development involve high investments and costs."
For example, SWISS was one of the first airlines to announce that it would be switching to Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) in the future - a fuel created by using concentrated solar heat to manufacture “syngas” which can then be synthesised into kerosene. While programmes like SAF are expected to help “decarbonise” air transport, the cost of the programmes - spurred by ongoing pressure from governments to implement the policies before they are cost-effective - will likely be passed on to passengers.
Passengers will have to pay for airline's green transition
This was supported by a recent study by the Dutch Bank and investment firm ABN Amro, which predicted that the age of low-cost flying was coming to an end. The company made similar conclusions to SWISS, arguing that higher flight-related taxes and carbon-friendly initiatives would spell the end of "almost free" plane tickets.
Vice president of the Swiss Travel Federation, Stéphane Jayet, told La Liberté that "over the next five to 10 years, air carriers will have to make a lot of effort, investing massively to achieve their climate goals by 2050." "Customers will benefit from these technological developments, but they will have to pay more,'" she concluded.
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