How the War in Ukraine Is Affecting Luxury Travel

How luxury travelers will feel the impact of war in Ukraine greatly depends on their travel destinations. But even so, they will still feel the impact one or another through oil prices as it affects the cost of traveling. Therefore, whether you’re traveling by sea, road, and land, it pays to understand how the war in Ukraine is affecting luxury travel. 

How the War in Ukraine Is Affecting Luxury Travel

While the travel industry was anticipating a comeback in 2022 after the 2-year depression, the war in Ukraine happened. It has scrambled not just the travelers’ schedule, but also that of the travel industry. Now the flights are changing their flight route while some cruises are canceling certain travel destinations. In other words, international vacations are now affected as travelers try to figure out their next move.

Further, the degree to which are bound to experience the impact of this war also depends on their destinations. However, experts anticipate a rise in airline tickets whether they’re domestic or international routes. And it’s all a result of the rising cost of oil. 

To travelers who had international plans, especially Americans, the global map is beginning to shrink once more. And this is after the gradual expansion due to the relaxation of COVID-19 containment measures by various countries. Many operators are scrapping their routes to Russia. And this consequently affected Cruise ship itineraries that were destined for St. Petersburg. 

And all this are happening when the U.S. summer vacations plan are in progress. Currently, some travelers are hesitant in making their travel plans. According to a recent finding from a survey by MMGY Travel Intelligence, travelers are holding back on their travel plans.  Further, this survey also reveals that the impact of this war has a significant impact on Americans’ travel plans as COVID-19. The studies sampled hundred of Americans with plans to visit Europe for vacation. And the outcomes were as follows:

  • Half (50%) of the sampled population were worried about the following:
    • Border closures
    • Possible delays
    • Cruise, flight, and trains cancellation
  • 47% are still monitoring how the Ukraine war is progressing before scheduling their visit to Europe.
  • 62% are worried that the Ukraine war may spill over to the bordering countries. As such, they are holding back their Vacation plans in Europe. And this is twice the amount of travelers who referenced COVID-19 as a safety concern. 
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Change of Cruise Courses

Due to the War in Ukraine, cruise liners are also responding to the situation. For example, recently, the Norwegian Cruise line canceled their tour to Russian destinations. Also, the TUI cruise line followed suit by canceling all their trips to St. Petersburg Port, Russia. Similar cancellations were seen in Aida Cruises and MSC Cruises.

But they’re not the only cruise line canceling their Russia destined trips. For example, Phoenix Reisen offers cruise tours along the Volga River in Russia from April to May also called off. All their visits to St. Petersburg will no longer take place.  

After the slow but gradual recovery following the COVID-19 hit, the travel industry is now facing an uncertain future. And the images from the Ukraine War are rattling the potential travelers. However, there are statements from various associations including DRV from German Travel Association are expressing hope. Hope that the War in Ukraine will end through diplomacy. 

Hit on Air Travel

War in Ukraine and the higher demand for no-fly-zone is bound to hurt the ailing aviation industry even further. Further, civilian planes from various European countries including Poland, France, Canada, and Germany, among others can no longer use Russian airspace. This is following the ban out in place by Russia. But even before that, the European Union banned all the Russian Planes from their member states. Therefore, they could not fly over or land anywhere in Europe as part of the sanctions. 

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Immediately the Ukraine Invasion was set off by Russia, EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency) cautioned all airlines from member states against using the war zone route. And that warning included Belarus and Moldova airspaces. This caution would remain active until further guidance after 90 days following security reassessment. 

For that reason, many airlines are taking a longer route (east to west). For that reason, more stress on carriers is anticipated according to Wolf-Dietrich Kindt from BDL. That means flights passing through Russia going far East will need an alternative route. As such, they would take more time due to the greater distance they’ll have to cover. With longer distance, means fuel consumption will be higher leading to higher cost of tickets. 

In the US, no carriers are heading straight to Russia, which halts the vacation plan for all travelers to this region. Also, those airlines like American and Delta have cut their code-sharing agreements. Like other European Regions, the ban on flights over Russia has resulted in longer routes. 

Now, most routes will go through India. Rerouting to avoid Russian airspace is inflating the running cost of airlines, according to an airline consultant, Robert Mann. As such, the air tickets will be costlier. Also, the rising cost of oil is causing a rise in ticket prices even further. And this is following the ban on the importation of oil and gas from Russia. 

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Higher Cost of Fuel and Longer Flights

According to the largest airline in Germany, Lufthansa, there will be significant changes in flight duration, departure, and arrival times. And it’s all due to the rescheduling of flights to heading the Far East. The same is expected to be reciprocated in other airlines that cannot fly through Russia and Ukraine. That said, if you’re heading to, let’s say Tokyo, prepare for an extra 2 hours on flight time. Those going to Seoul in South Korea will have to bear an extra 90 minutes of flight time. 

Final Take 

In light of the constantly changing circumstances due to the war in Ukraine, it’s important to research before traveling. More importantly, you should seek the latest info on the current situation before booking a ticket or making reservations. Also, you must work with reliable sources to ensure you’re reading accurate pieces of information.

Many European countries are urging travelers from their respective countries to cancel travel plans to Ukraine. Further, countries like the US and France are encouraging their citizens to avoid Russia or get out of it. Germany discourages their nationals from going to Russia. And also explicitly warns everyone against traveling to countries bordering or south of Ukraine. 

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