A commentator* on the radio earlier this week explained that many airlines and package holiday companies had hedged their air plane fuel charges this time last year, ensuing that they are largely unaffected by the large hike in fuel prices that we’re all experiencing.
However, the story after the summer would be different. The commentator predicted that prices of flights would rise noticeably as the less keen price of supplies of new fuel would be passed on to passengers. Furthermore, the commentator reckoned that Northern Ireland passengers would enjoy a reduction in the number of destinations, with low-volume (smaller profit) routes disappearing.
It’s a trend that’s already started, with last week’s abrupt withdrawal of Euromanx routes, including their Belfast City – Isle of Man run. (Manx2 are picking up their passengers.)
Another route to go is the Cityjet/Air France route from Belfast City to London City. It’s being suspended from this Friday (24 May) “for commercial reasons and to allow for the rescheduling of the CityJet for Air France network”.
No more landing on the Docklands’ airstrip, surrounded on both sides by water. No more getting off the driverless London Docklands train and checking in at the end of the platform before even entering the terminal building. No more rides in the noisy – but surprisingly stable – turboprop from East Belfast to East London.
* The show was probably Good Morning Ulster, but I can’t remember the commentator’s name :(