Would air ticket prices have reached a ceiling? The conditional remains de rigueur but in August and for the second consecutive month, a ticket from mainland France, all destinations and all classes of travel combined, cost slightly less (-0.1%) than over the same period in 2022, according to the monthly index of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC), published a few days ago. In July, the DGAC noted for the first time an inflection of air fares, with a decline of 2.3%. The decline is confirmed, but it does not erase, far from it, the cumulative rise in prices, which has reached 12.1% for eight months.
Another downside is the strong disparities between destinations. The surge continued this summer on the French domestic network, particularly to overseas territories (+14.5%). But the decline is notable towards North Africa (-6.1%) for medium-haul. On long-haul flights, inflation continues on average (+1.3%) but some destinations such as North America are now showing a sharp decline (-7.8%).
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Geopolitics, soaring energy prices, strong demand, abandonment of services by low cost... To the many factors put forward to explain this vertiginous rise in fares could now be added new taxes, one on tickets intended to finance rail, the other on airport concessions.
The French Minister of Transport Clément Beaune had called at the end of August for "the establishment of a minimum price of air tickets" in Europe in order to "fight against social and environmental dumping". A prospect that irritates the French air transport sector, "firmly opposed" to a new tax favoring "the least polluting means of transport", wishing at least "that it is directed towards the decarbonization of the sector," said in early September its leader Pascal de Izaguirre, president of the National Federation of Aviation and its trades (Fnam).
Overseas France is still experiencing a surge in prices
Unlike metropolitan France, average ticket prices from the overseas departments were still rising sharply in August, with fares 10.7% higher than in August 2022. An increase that hit Martinique (+19.7%) and Guadeloupe (+16%), but also Mayotte (+10%) and Reunion (+7%). Prices for flights departing from French Guiana are down (-2.9%).