Fewer Flights from the UK
Each month a company called OAG compiles a list of all those flights that fly from British airports and publishes the results in its OAG Facts. This compares the number of flights and passenger seats available to buy based on the type of aircraft flying each route.
The figures for April show that there was a drop of 5078 domestic flights compared to the same month last year which meant a reduction of 476,000 seats. For those flying abroad there were 11,237 fewer flights and 1.6 million fewer seats. Within that it is possible to see that even the low cost airlines are having to cut back. In percentage terms they have cut even more flights and offer now 853,000 fewer seats than in April 2008.
So what does it mean for us the tourist?
It should mean that fares shouldn’t be showing much of a decline because the airlines are trying to match supply with demand and obviously demand is down. But fares are not as stable as you might expect which suggests that there are still too few people chasing too many seats. Maybe the airlines are still to make cuts or maybe they are hoping that the ever increasing last minute bookers amongst us will come to their rescue over the Summer and fill those seats.
Whatever it is is makes it tricky for anyone to recommend buying seats now as opposed to leaving it till later when there may be fewer seats and hence, higher prices. The airlines would rather have your money now even if they think prices may rise. So you takes you money and takes your pick. Me, I think I’ll book for flights I know I’ll have to take but for a holiday, I am going to hold off a bit longer