There are several possible reasons behind the reduced number of flyers, including flight tax, rising fuel prices, and increased airport fees.
The ongoing climate debate is also thought to have encouraged some people in Sweden to ditch domestic flights.
In September this year, 1,125,000 people took a domestic flight, which was a reduction of five percent compared with the same month last year, new figures from Swedish airport operator Swedavia show. Over 2019 as a whole, domestic flight traffic has fallen by eight percent at Swedavia's airports.
The same trend has also been observed in the other Scandinavian countries. In Denmark, domestic flights have fallen by seven percent year-on-year and the number of passengers is at a 14-year low according to industry publication Check-in.dk.
But airline SAS bucked the trend in September, seeing an increase in domestic journeys. “During this year we have seen something of a slowdown in demand, but in September there was an increase in comparison with last year. It's hard to say what this is due to, but we work a lot with sustainability and the chance to buy biofuel, which might affect travellers' choice of flight,” said SAS Sweden head of press Freja Annamatz.
Airline BRA said it had adapted to consumer desires by regularly reviewing the routes it offers to see which have most passengers and are most profitable. For example, the Jönköping-Stockholm route was recently closed down. At Stockholm's Bromma airport, where BRA is the only airline offering domestic routes, the total number of passengers fell by two percent in 2018.
BRA Head of communication Jim Hofverberg said there were several reasons for the decline in interest.
“To a certain extent, it's due tot somewhat more expensive ticket prices, pushed up by increased costs for airlines – more expensive fuel costs, the weak Swedish krona and the government's new flight tax,” he explained.
domestic flight – (ett) inrikesflyg
airline – (ett) flygbolag
debate – (en) debatt
airport – (en) flygplats
avoid – undvika
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