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Why the cost of flights to and from Italy is rising steeply

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Why the cost of flights to and from Italy is rising steeply
What's behind steep Italian plane ticket increases? Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP.

The cost of flights to and from Italy has risen around by around 20 percent in the first three months of 2024 compared to the same period the year before. What's behind the hikes?


If it seems like the cost of a flight to Italy has risen sharply since you last made the trip, it's not all in your head.

The average price of a ticket for Italian domestic or intra-European flights rose by 26 percent in January 2024 compared to the same period in 2023, according to an analysis by the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

Domestic flight prices rose by about eight percent and international flight prices 17 percent in February compared to the same period in 2024, while Italy-Europe flights are expected to cost around 16 percent more and domestic flights 15 percent more in March.

These increases are thought to be down to a mismatch between supply and demand caused by a combination of engine defects and supply chain delays.

READ ALSO: LISTED: The new direct flights to and from Italy in 2024

Demand for flights is as high as ever, with a record-breaking number of passengers passing through Italy's airports in 2023.

But last summer, Airbus manufacturer RTX noticed cracks in the discs of the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan engine's high pressure turbine, requiring safety inspections of 1,200 of the 3,000 engines currently in use.

Initially, it was thought that these checks would take around 100 days for each engine, but these times have lengthened to 350 days in 2024.

In the meantime, according to the flight analytics company IBA, around 385 A320neo and A321neo planes - single-aisle short and medium distance aircraft that use the P&W Geared Turbofan engine - are currently grounded.

At the same time, delays in the Boeing supply chain mean low-cost carrier Ryanair is set receive just 40 new planes by June 30th, and not 57 as it had expected.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: The plan to open southern Italy's newest airport in 2024


As a result, airlines have already had to cancel 193 thousand departures on intra-European routes in the first three months of the year.

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary has said the carrier will have to reduce the frequencies of flights on certain routes and will raise prices by around five to ten percent over the summer.

Milan Malpensa is one of the airports that will be affected by the reductions, along with Dublin, Warsaw and four Portuguese airports, the executive said.



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