Limitations to our flight movements due to the pandemic remain frustrating, but unrestricted personal air travel will have to resume. When it does, the eurozone’s tourist-hungry Club Med economies will have essentially lost two years of important hard-currency earnings. On top of such an unhelpful financial legacy, they potentially face strong recovery headwinds; up against a combination of higher air fares – uplifted by increased flight taxes and fuel costs – and competition from rival destinations for sun and sea such as Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia, not to mention Dubai and Florida.
Air travel costs could also be driven up by the inability of budget airlines to return to their old competitive pricing models. Airport operators too could prove a cause of higher airfares if they try to make good what revenues they have lost and debts incurred over these past two extremely difficult years. Airport owners could use their landlord powers to hike up rents and other fees charged to carriers; airside retailers and other concession holders would suffer the same fate. Against this backdrop, there can be no doubt that Club Med eurozone destinations could only welcome a strengthening in sterling that would attract British holidaymakers.