Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Airlines

One-Way Flight Bookings From Russia Up 27 Percent

4 months ago

Booking of one-way airline tickets from Russia soared 27 percent during the week of September 21 when President Vladimir Putin announced partial mobilisation of its citizens, travel analytics firm ForwardKeys noted on Tuesday.

Amid growing concerns about travel restrictions, tens of thousands of military-age men have reportedly been fleeing the country after Putin ordered Russia’s first mobilisation since World War II. As part of the mobilisation, 300,000 Russians would be called up to serve.

The share of one-way tickets jumped from 47 percent the week before to 73 percent during the week of September 21-27, according to data from ForwardKeys.

On a week-on-week basis, one-way tickets from Russia witnessed a triple-digit increase for the week ending September 27 to Georgia’s Tbilisi, Kazakhstan’s Almaty and Astana, Ajzerbaijan’s Baku, Serbia’s Belgrade, Kyrgyzstan’s Bishkek, Istanbul, Tel Aviv and Dubai.  

The top three destinations cities for which Russians booked one-way tickets were Tblisi, which witnessed a 654 percent increase over the week before September 21-26, Almaty witnessed a 435 percent increase and the tickets to Belgrade increased over 206 percent.

Russians are allowed to travel to some of their former-Soviet neighbours like Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan on internal passports and do not require a visa for entry.

Noting the shortening of the booking window from 34 to 22 days, ForwardKeys stated that 60 percent of tickets issued had the travel date within 15 days of purchase, while for tickets purchased the previous week, that share was 45 percent.

“These numbers are quite remarkable and correlate with reports at the time of a sudden increase in ticket sales,” said Olivier Ponti, vice president of insights for ForwardKeys.

One way-fares from Russia to Turkey had shot up to almost $1,150, compared with a little over $375 a week ago, according to Google Flights data.

Cruises

Norwegian Cruise Line Posts a $1 Billion First-Quarter Loss

9 months ago

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd has reported a net loss of $1 billion for the first quarter of this year, as the Omicron variant hit sailings.

The Russia-Ukraine conflict also resulted in the cancellation or modification of 60 sailings, which included all voyages with calls to ports in Russia.

However, the result is an improvement on the same quarter in 2021, when it racked up losses of $1.4 billion. Revenue also increased to $521.9 million, compared to $3.1 million in 2021, as cruise voyages restarted.

Total cruise operating expense increased 266.1 percent in the 2022 first quarter, compared to 2021, due to the resumption of sailings but also higher payroll, fuel, and “direct variable costs of fully operating ships.” Inflation also affected food, fuel and logistics costs.

While as of May 7 its entire fleet was back up and running, it was operating at just 48 percent capacity in the first three months of 2022.

“Last week we reached the biggest milestone yet in our Great Cruise Comeback as Norwegian Spirit, the last ship in our fleet to resume sailing, welcomed guests on board in Papeete, Tahiti,” said Frank Del Rio, president and CEO. “The herculean effort to restart our fleet would not have been possible without the incredible fortitude of the entire Norwegian team and the unwavering support of our key partners and stakeholders around the world.”

Looking ahead, its advance ticket sales balance increased $418 million in the quarter to $2.2 billion as of March 31, 2022. This includes $0.6 billion of future cruise credits, or 27 percent of the total deposit balance.

Gross advance ticket sales were $1.1 billion during the quarter, the highest level since the start of the pandemic.

The cruise line has removed all calls to ports in Russia from its itineraries in 2023.

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