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Rerouting of flights over Ukraine not affecting airfares yet

Singapore Airlines says it is not changing its airfares, despite the longer flight routes between Singapore and Europe. Travel agencies also expect no change to airfares in general, to and from Europe.

SINGAPORE: Flights between Singapore and Europe have had to re-route after the airspace over eastern Ukraine was closed, following the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17. 

Singapore Airlines says while re-routing may result in longer flights, with about 10 to 30 minutes travelling time, it has not affected its airfares just yet. It added there have been no operational issues so far, but noted that flight times are also determined by factors like the weather, wind direction and air traffic control. 

Some travel agencies pointed out that longer flight times may mean airlines have to incur higher costs for fuel, maintenance and crew hours. But the agencies say fares are likely to remain competitive, as demand from business travellers has slowed by about 10 per cent in the last two months, partly due to the MH17 incident.

"From our understanding, airfares are based on market dynamics, including supply and demand and the fare has to be competitive. At this juncture, we have not received any updates or information that there's an increase in air fares to Europe, said Ms Alicia Seah, the Director for Marketing and Communications at Dynasty Travel. "In fact, we forecast that there will be some special promotions for airfares around the world, for travellers to take to the skies."

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