Tuesday 20 March 2018

Euro 2016: Airfares jump sixfold as Irish fans plan French invasion

#COYBIG Travel Tips

Ryanair: The airline released a photoshopped image to celebrate Jon Walters' goals against Bosnia in the Euro 2016 play-offs.
Ryanair: The airline released a photoshopped image to celebrate Jon Walters' goals against Bosnia in the Euro 2016 play-offs.

Pól O Conghaile

Prices are already skyrocketing ahead of Ireland's Euro 2016 group games next summer, writes Pól Ó Conghaile.

Last Saturday, as Ireland's card was plucked from the Euro 2016 draw, I checked the price of a one-way fare from Dublin to Paris.

Prices with Ryanair started from €125.99 on June 12, the day before Ireland's opening fixture against Sweden at the Stade de France.

This morning, the same flights had risen to as much as €256.99.

The price is more than six times that of the lowest fares a week earlier. On June 5, passengers can travel with Ryanair to Paris Beauvais from €39.99.

"Our flights from Ireland to France have already been selling fast since both Ireland and Northern Ireland booked their places at the Euros," says Robin Kiely, the airline's Head of Communications.

Ryanair plans to schedule a number of extra Euro 2016 services, Kiely said, "which will go on sale soon, ensuring the Green Army can travel to France on the lowest fares."

Of course, it's not unusual for fares to rise as planes fill up - a process that can accelerate on foot of concerts, sporting events or peak-season travel.

Aer Lingus' one-way flights from Dublin to Paris CDG rise from €89.99 on June 5, for example, to €259.99 on Sunday, June 12.

The Belfast Telgraph is reporting that flight costs have jumped four-fold as Northern Irish fans prepare for their own French invasion next summer.

"Of our six major championships since Stuttgart ‘88 this is the one with the most travel options for Irish fans," said a spokesperson for Aer Lingus.

The airline will operate 160 flights a week to and from France next summer, and is considering putting on additional flights into locations for Irish games.

An estimated 50,000 Irish supporters are expected to journey from home and abroad for the showpiece tournament in France.

Ireland are also scheduled to play Belgium in Bordeaux on June 18 (Aer Lingus flies to Bordeaux or Toulouse, a 2.5 hour drive away), and Italy in Lille on June 22.

Lille is best reached via Paris Beauvais or Brussels airports.

Fans also have ferry options, while package prices are expected to be announced by Abbey Travel, Club Travel, Stein Travel and others in the coming days.

Abbey Travel says it received over 2,000 enquiry emails this weekend.

Read more: Euro 2016 Travel Guide: How can I get to Ireland's games in France?

NB: Prices correct at time of publication.

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