Prices of flights from France have risen almost 24% in one year, new figures from the country’s civil aviation authority show.
The figures, from the Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile (DGAC), show last month prices across all destinations from France had risen by 23.8% compared to the same time last year.
The price rise for flights on France’s domestic network rose by 23.1%, while links with France’s overseas territories rose in price by 39.9%. Flights to and from the French Antilles soared by more than 55%.
It comes on top of an overall flight price rise of 21.7% the year before.
Overall, international flights from France rose by 22.8%. It increased by 38.4% across the European/Swiss/UK area, compared to 8.2% for the rest of the world.
Low-cost airlines most affected
The DGAC data also showed budget airlines are likely to see the highest increases. It said: “The rise remains largely borne by low-cost airlines.”
Long-haul flights rose slightly less in price, at 19.8% overall. Asia-Pacific flights saw the highest increase, at 42.3%, followed by the Middle East and Latin America (18.1% and 17.1% respectively), followed by North America and Sub-Saharan Africa (9.3% and 6.8%).
Why are prices rising so much?
The main reason is a mismatch of demand and supply, particularly as passenger behaviour recovers (and even changes) after Covid.
François Deletraz, airline and transport federation specialist, told BFMTV: “Passengers are now increasingly buying at the last minute. Before Covid, half of them typically bought their ticket seven days before departure.
“So the airlines have a vested interest in closing the cheapest classes. Travellers are all pushing their luck, and saying that they still want to go on holiday despite rising prices, so they are prepared to pay that price.”
Inflation and rising fuel costs have also had a major impact. Around a third of a flight ticket cost depends on the cost of kerosene, which has - along with all other fuel prices - risen significantly in the past year.
Similarly, logistics may have an impact. For example, many flights travelling to Asia have had to lengthen their flight paths to avoid flying over Russia, as a result of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
Tips to find lower-cost flights in France
Flight prices vary hugely depending on a range of factors, including the distance, class type, the fuel used, taxes, local regulations, demand, and the dates of travel.
The airport you fly from is also a factor. For example, flights from airports in cities like Paris often cost more than a similar route from another less-urban airport, as airlines know that more business travellers (with higher budgets) tend to depart from Paris.
The best way to find the lowest-cost flights is to remain flexible on the airline and airport you choose, as well as on dates and times of travel. French travel website recommends trying the following:
Shop around on different websites and direct airline companies. The same ticket can cost a lot more through third-party travel agents, and can even vary significantly if you use a company’s French website, compared to a website for the same company, but in another country. For example, as well as the ‘.fr’ version, try ‘.it’ (Italy)’.es’ (Spain), or ‘.sg’ (Singapore).
Use ‘Incognito mode’ or ‘private mode’ when using your web browser. This means that the companies cannot track how many times you have visited the website, so they cannot increase prices accordingly (some sites increase prices if you have looked at the same page several times).
Delete browsing history and ‘cookies’ before searching, for similar reasons
Stay open to connecting flights rather than direct only. These can often be cheaper and only take a few extra hours (especially for long-haul journeys).
Stay open to using low-cost airlines and less-central airports
Use flight price comparison websites that do not have any affiliation with travel companies or airlines. Avoid GoVoyage or Expedia, and instead choose Skyscanner.net, Kayak.com, or Momondo.com
Book your tickets at least six to eight weeks ahead of time for the best prices for short-haul flights, and around five months in advance for long-haul
If you can, be flexible on dates, use the tools on flight websites to find the best prices across the entire week or month
To calculate the figures, the DGAC uses a method similar to that used for the price of consumption index (indice des prix à la consommation, IPC) by the statistics bureau INSEE. It looks at the price of flights across 400 airlines, both direct and indirect.
The prices include return journeys, departing from France, and take into account all taxes and charges. Every month, the index considers more than 250,000 airline prices, corresponding to tickets available at the time of sale, and depending on the date of travel, the transport class, and the type of ticket.