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Why are flights to and from Denmark so expensive this summer?

The Local Denmark
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Why are flights to and from Denmark so expensive this summer?
Why are flights so expensive this summer? Archive photo of Copenhagen Airport, July 2022. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

The number of people wanting to take a summer holiday this year has skyrocketed, but not everyone will be able to afford to go because of the rise in ticket prices. Why have flights become more expensive?


Over the past four years, airline activity has gone from being virtually non-existent because of lockdowns and travel bans during the Covid-19 pandemic, to recovering almost 100 percent over the last couple of years.  

If you’ve been looking for a flight to or from Denmark in the summer, you’ll notice that the prices are higher than in previous years, and even more than before the pandemic. But it’s not just in Denmark where these price rises have been recorded, it’s happening all over Europe.

According to travel search site Momondo, the average flight to Denmark in 2023 costs 2,034 kroner per person per ticket. Of course flight prices vary, depending on where you are flying from, what time of year you are traveling and which airline you are flying with.

Momondo says that summer flight tickets for 2023 have increased by 25 percent compared to last summer (June 1st to September 15th) with some flights increasing even more. According to their data, flights to Tokyo have increased by 70 percent in price; flights to Tuscany have increased by 59 percent and flights to Barcelona have increased by 38 percent.

However not all prices have increased to the same extent with flights to Nice and Naples increasing by 7 and 14 percent. 


Why are flights so expensive this summer? 

One of the reasons is supply and demand. More people are travelling this summer than over the past few years. 

In March this year, almost 2 million passengers travelled through Copenhagen airport, which made it the airport's busiest March for three years. The number of passengers increased by 40 per cent compared to the same month last year.

There are new routes and an increased number of departures out of Copenhagen airport this summer, which brings airline capacity close to pre-pandemic levels. Overall during the summer, there will be almost 11 million seats on flights in and out of Copenhagen.

After several years of no travel abroad, combined with the war in Ukraine causing fuel prices to skyrocket and the rise in the cost of living, flight prices are at the highest they’ve been for years.

According to The Hopper travel application, flights to Europe and Asia are at their highest levels in the last five years and cost almost €300 more than a year ago.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has indicated that the price hikes are due to the increase in the price of kerosene. “High fuel prices, as well as other inflationary cost increases, can have an impact on ticket prices that can increase if airlines are unable to absorb or avoid the cost themselves,” they explained.


The CEO of easyJet, Johan Lundgren, told the French news agency AFP that while the price of fuel has risen by 71 percent, the average rate of the low-cost airline has increased by 31 percent, the equivalent to €14. For this reason, "it is still within the reach of many clients," he justified.

Revenue per seat offered by Air France-KLM rose more than 38 percent, while the German group Lufthansa foresees "a travel boom in the summer, as well as a new record" when it comes to revenue per passenger, given the level of reservations it had already received at the beginning of May.


How to get a good deal on flights

You may not be able to get flights as cheaply as you once could, but there are still several things you can do to keep your costs down.

Book your flight in advance because the closer to the flight date, the more expensive the tickets tend to be. So, if you haven’t booked your flight yet, now is the time to do so.  


Avoiding the peak holiday season in July and August can also help save you money. If it’s possible, take an early summer holiday in early June or a later one towards the end of August and the beginning of September. Travelling on a Thursday instead of a Saturday can also reduce costs.

Instead of going straight to your preferred airlines this year, look on websites such as Skyscanner and Momondo, which will give you the cheapest options on all the different airlines. They can also find cheaper tickets for you if you're willing to be flexible with travel days or make stopovers instead of flying direct. 

What are the alternatives?

Train travel can be a great alternative to flying this summer. Copenhagen central station has direct services to Sweden and Germany. From Germany, you have access to the rest of Europe.

There's also a relatively new overnight train service, where you can catch an evening train from Copenhagen and wake up in either Hamburg or Berlin.

For train travel around Europe, Interrail passes can often be cheaper than buying individual train tickets, especially if you’re travelling for longer periods of time. Interrail has a youth pass that is up to 23 percent cheaper than an adult pass, which is available to anyone under 28.

For train travel within Denmark, rail operator DSB has cheap offers on its Orange tickets, available up to two months before your travel date. DSB's summer rejsepas (travel pass) allows unlimited travel on public transport services within an eight-day period during specified weeks this summer.


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