Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Why are School Holiday flights so expensive?

No Frills Airlines lack flexibility in their model.
The question of flight prices for school holidays is a constant friction for for hard working parents trying to get an affordable break, particularly now that there has been a court ruling   confirming the legality of schools fining parents for term time absence’s.

The advent of No Frills carriers has actually made the issue worse rather than improving it for parents, the reason for this is that No Frills carriers to get the maximum economy fly the longest seasons possible, the year is split into two, so in the summer season there are 26 weeks of operations,  May, June & October are the least attractive and Carriers use below cost discounts to encourage travellers to take an off season flight, the net result is that many pensioners and people of working age get some fantastic deals.  

But the net result is that the no frills carriers have to cover these huge discounts somewhere and they do this by increasing massively the margins in peak season, so families end up subsidising the off season travellers.

It is possible to operate a peak season operation, there is a massive glut of aircraft, many aircraft because of the high price of fuel were in effect written off 5-10 years ago, but the fall in the price of oil has markedly changed things  in the aircraft market.

Many banks and leasing companies own these written off assets and they are finding there way back into the market, there are now ACMI airlines which set up with a low overhead operation in places like Malta flying under EU colours and lease the aircraft to some no frills airlines as well as tour operators who fly them for July-September.  You wouldn't think that the no frills airlines were taking advantage of these cheaper aircraft by the prices they sell at, as they are coining it,

But some of these aircraft are finding there way into the holiday market via charter operations which have to be covered by a CAA ATOL in the UK, so they are even safer financially  than the No Frills airlines which don't have any financial protections at all.  

So when you choose your flights, don't just go to the no frills airlines, use a comparison site like and shop round, there are bargains to be found, also are are other regional airports, if you live in the South East, look at Southampton, Bournemouth, Luton and Southend.    If you live in the North West Manchester is good but also look at Liverpool and if you live over on the North east side try looking at Doncaster.

Tour Operators like TUI, Thomas Cook, Olympic Holidays are sometimes much cheaper, there are some small new startups to look at, Estrela Trave

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