Travel agency owners in Greece are the first to see air ticket prices increase due to sanctions with the closing of European airspace for Russian flights and vice versa from Russia for European flights.
The ban on European airspace for flights from Russia from Monday as part of EU sanctions, as well as the corresponding response from the Russian side, has already caused a significant increase in air ticket prices.
The first to notice the increase in Greece are the travel agents who from February 28 saw a 30% increase in the price of the tickets they had already bought to make trips abroad during the three days of Clean Monday and Greek Independence Day on March 25.
"I noticed that from Monday, February 28, there was a 30% increase in airline tickets," said the owner of a travel agency in Thessaloniki, Stephanos Hatzimanolis.
"This took us out of budget and in order not to look insolvent to our customers, who will participate in our air trips on the three days of Clean Monday and the three days of March 25, we are forced to pay money out of our own pocket.
"That is, the customers travel with the money they had paid before without having to pay the increase.
"It is impossible for us to ask for such a large amount from our customers," Hatzimanolis said, adding that the trips that will be made from his agency are in Spain, Portugal and Malta.
As he explained, the people, after overcoming the Omicron mutation and increases in energy prices, paid for air trips abroad for the three days of Clean Monday and March 25.
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However, the increase in air ticket prices caused an additional increase of 80 to 100 euros for each traveler, which will eventually be paid for by the travel agency.
"In order to be worthy of everything - of our name and reputation and knowledge - and in order not to lose customers, we have to cover the price difference of the air ticket," he said.
"The resulting increases are in the range of 80 to 100 euros per customer," the travel agent continued.
However, as Hatzimanolis said, the road trips for Clean Monday and March 25 are canceled by the travelers themselves, while now both he and other travel agencies have turned their attention to Easter, for which there are no active bookings.
Increases are also recorded in the air tickets that are booked by an interested party through the websites of the airlines, however, as he said: [I] cannot have a clear picture of the percentage increase."
Problems on the planes of Western companies with Russian registration
Another parameter that Hatzimanolis mentioned is interesting, pointing out that "there is a huge disturbance" in the flights of aircraft with Russian registration.
"At the moment, not only the flights of Russian aircraft have been cut off, but also the flights of aircraft with Russian registration," he explained.
"Too many companies - for tax and other reasons - were based in Russian airports.
"One such case is DHL.
"They cannot fly now and as you understand, flights are canceled, while others have price increases. There is generally a disturbance."