Martinique and Guadeloupe, the two sister islands separated by over a hundred kilometers, find themselves once again even further apart than before. Indeed, it has been observed for several months now that inter-island flight ticket prices are experiencing a significant increase, and it might not be ready to stop! Analysis.
The Aimé Césaire Airport in Martinique is one of the essential hubs for air traffic between the two islands, where nearly 21% of travelers embark on this journey of nearly 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach Guadeloupe’s airport. Ticket prices now range from 400 to 500 euros, which has become a barrier for travelers who can no longer afford to take a weekend getaway with family or friends, for work, for holidays, or for an extended stay on the “Butterfly Island” as often as before.
Inflation and additional sosts: economic challenges in air transport in 2023
Even as inflation reaches record levels in the French Antilles, it’s another tough blow that may not improve with all the additional costs and other expenses related to oil or aircraft maintenance, in particular. These price increases are also being felt internationally, where prices have literally skyrocketed in 2023! On average, they are 23% more expensive than in 2019!
There are two airlines responsible for flights between Martinique and Guadeloupe: Air France and Air Caraïbes, following the liquidation of the Caire Group, of which Air Antilles was a part. However, the latter has since found a new owner through a public-private partnership between the Collectivity of Saint-Martin and Edéis. This development should enable Martinique and Guadeloupe to be connected by a third airline, which would also offer flights to Barbados, Punta Cana, Port-au-Prince, Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, Saint Lucia, Guyana, Dominica, and even Miami. Following this acquisition, the destinations of Saint-Barthélemy, Pointe-à-Pitre, Fort-de-France, and Saint-Martin will ultimately continue their services, while the others will be discontinued for an indefinite period. Air Antilles will likely have to adapt to the new financial constraints that its competitors are already facing, much to the dismay of Caribbean travelers!
It remains to be seen, in the event that these price increases persist, whether they will further impact tourism on the two islands in the long term. What are your thoughts on these price hikes?