Why is the plane ticket so expensive at Air Algeria? (case)
The issue of the high cost of airline tickets has recently become a matter of national concern. Everyone agrees that the ticket prices charged by airlines operating in Algeria are the most expensive in the world. And it is often the public company Air Algeria which is singled out for its virtual monopoly in the Algerian sky.
A situation that has persisted for years and has intensified since the health crisis to the chagrin of Air Algeria customers, in particular the Algerian diaspora established abroad. The vertiginous rise in prices charged by Air Algérie compared to other airlines, particularly in neighboring countries, such as Morocco and Tunisia, has often been denounced by users.
Politicians denounce the prices charged by Air Algeria
Even some politicians have stepped up to denounce the prices charged by Air Algeria. ” Our community abroad is experiencing a real tragedy. Air Algerie ticket prices are the most expensive in the world », Affirms in this regard the head of the Islamist party Movement of the Society for Peace, Abderrezak Makri. ” Look at the prices of low-cost companies in other North African countries with 15 euros or even 10 or 9 euros, the traveler from a neighboring country takes the plane and returns home Makri adds in a video posted on October 25 on his Facebook page.
These exorbitant prices charged by Air Algeria also made the public authorities react. Prime Minister Aïmene Benabderrahmane announced on November 9 the opening of an investigation concerning the high cost of plane tickets on the Algiers-Paris line. Speaking on the second day of the work of the Conference of Heads of Algerian Diplomatic and Consular Missions, the Chief Executive acknowledged that the prices charged by Air Algeria are ” excessively expensive ».
Here is how the price of a plane ticket is calculated
As with any service, the price of a plane ticket is fixed according to several parameters. According to skyscanner.fr, there is a basic price, “immutable”, to which will then be added airport taxes. This base price takes into account “the unavoidable costs” for an airline, namely “the cost of personnel, the purchase and maintenance of planes, fuel”, but also “the price of the meal and drinks served” .
But it is especially on the variable part that everything is played concerning the calculation of the price of a ticket. These are the many taxes which may vary at any time and which also affect the price of the plane ticket. According to a study by Skyscanner, the breakdown of the price of a plane ticket is carried out according to five taxes:
- QW and QX Taxes: These are passenger charges for the use of the airport.
- YQ tax: this is the aircraft fuel surcharge which depends on the price of oil.
- FR tax: this is the civil aviation tax that will be collected by the State.
- XT tax: this is the tax to ensure the security, control of passengers, baggage
- IZ tax: this is the solidarity tax on tickets which is paid in particular to the Global Fund against pandemics
Why are the prices of plane tickets different for the same destination?
This is the first question that comes to a traveller’s mind when deciding to fly. Before buying their ticket, the customer goes around the agencies and searches the internet to find the lowest price between different companies. And it is from there that the customer wonders: Why is a ticket for a Paris-Algiers flight on board Air Algérie purchased in January for example different from the one purchased six months later?
The answer is simple: first the date. A plane ticket for the same company and the same destination will depend on the season. If you go in July or August, the price of the plane ticket will be more expensive. This is also the case during school holidays and throughout the year. There is also the choice of the departure day: the ticket is often cheaper for a weekday flight than on weekends for the simple reason that all airlines try to encourage travelers to take the plane at different times to make their journeys profitable by avoiding taking off with empty seats. There is also the question of supply and demand. No company needs to offer low prices one at a time when demand is strong.
What about the prices charged by Air Algérie?
Even if in absolute terms all airlines are subject to the same market rules concerning ticket prices, the fact remains that often certain companies are singled out for prices deemed excessive by their customers, and this year round. This is particularly the case for Air Algérie. Since the partial reopening of the borders last March, for repatriation flights, followed in June by the authorization of commercial flights, Air Algérie has continued to be the subject of criticism about the prices charged on its tickets.
Faced with the growing anger of customers, Air Algeria officials tried to explain the reasons for this price hike. While recalling the various charges and taxes entering into the setting of prices, as we explained above, the officials of Air Algérie mainly highlighted the current situation of the aviation sector impacted by the Covid-19.
The first is the very reduced number of flights compared to the period before the health crisis. ” You should know that the number of flights currently operated has a strong impact on prices. While we made 22 daily flights with Paris, we are forced to operate 23 flights per week today. That changes everything, ”explains an Air Algeria official quoted by Visa-Algeria in this regard.
An explanation which is certainly logical, but which does not suit the majority of travelers, especially since the prices of tickets have always remained excessive even though we have left the summer period, where demand was often greater than supply. . “If I understand that a ticket is displayed at more than 500 euros one way between Paris and Algiers, between July and September, it is not logical all the same that it is the same price which is in progress during the month of November », Protests a traveler.
“Our prices are the cheapest compared to those offered by our competitors”, defends Air Algérie.
Faced with the criticisms that targeted it during last summer about the prices of its tickets, Air Algeria decided to react through an official press release. According to the management of Air Algeria, the prices of the plane tickets which it applies are ” the cheapest compared to the prices offered by (its) competitors », On the same destinations it serves. According to data provided by the Algerian company, on August 31, to the official APS agency, Air Algeria would have offered the cheapest prices during the month of August compared to European companies for flights connecting Algeria. to other capitals of the world.
Thus, for the destination France, Air Algeria offers, according to its data, the Algiers-Paris ticket at 45,240 dinars, for a one-way ticket while the price of the same ticket at Air France is sold at 60,107 dinars, while ASL Airlines (France) offers it at 70,500 dinars. In France, the same ticket (one way) from Paris to Algiers is sold at 471 euros by Air Algérie, 763 euros by Air France and 480 euros by ASL Airlines.
Why does Air Algérie no longer offer discounted tickets?
Here is a question that comes up with insistence in recent days among many Air Algérie customers. After the period of great summer crowds, many travelers hope to finally see Air Algérie, failing to reduce its prices, at least resort to promotions on some of its lines during this winter period, like what is done in neighboring countries. Indeed, the Tunisian company Tunisair has scheduled flights from 529 Tunisian dinars (161 euros), and this during the period from November 5 to March 27, 2022.
The monopoly of the airline sector would benefit Air Algérie
On the side of Air Algeria, no promotion is announced whereas during previous years these offers are offered regularly, especially in winter. If for many observers the reason is linked to the difficult financial conditions in which Air Algeria finds itself, following the consequences of the health crisis, others on the other hand believe that Air Algeria is “protected” by the fact that it holds the monopoly. air transport.
A situation that it shares with the company Air France, concerning flights between France and Algeria. A virtual monopoly between Air Algérie and Air France, thus relegating the other three low-cost companies; namely Ryanair, Transavia and Vueling, to a role of extras. This means that Air Algérie and Air France continue to practice the same pricing policy as that of the summer period, say many observers.
Only the opening of the market would offer a real price policy
It is for all these reasons that the opening of the Algerian air transport market to other national companies would be the solution, say the specialists. A question that is raised many times and which finally seems to have the approval of the public authorities. The latter say they agree to opening up the airline sector to private investors, as the Minister of Transport recently said.
Opening the market to other companies would be the only way to allow true competition and thus push the various companies competing to lower prices. It is in this perspective, moreover, that Algerians are impatiently awaiting the much-announced arrival of the new low-cost company Fly WestAF. Announced with great fanfare last summer, this private company, founded by the Algerian-American Chakib Ziani Cherif, already wants to be a real competitor for other companies operating in Algeria, in terms of tariffs.
Indeed in a tweet published on November 3, the boss of Fly WestAF wrote: “A low cost company is not a NAME !! It’s a PRICE !! “. A message through which the CEO of this company understood that ticket prices are an important issue in competition, for the thousands of Algerians who travel in particular between Algeria and European countries.
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