Slovaks living abroad cannot vote in the presidential elections if they are not in the country on election day.
Many of them seem to have flown back home to cast their ballot during the first election weekend, according to data gathered by Pelikán, a website used to search for cheap air tickets. The sale of return air tickets to Bratislava or Vienna increased by 94 percent compared with the same period in 2018.Read also:Read more
The most frequent foreign destinations were Switzerland, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and France. Many, many Slovaks work in these countries, according to Pelikán.
“More than a 90-percent increase in return air tickets from abroad to Bratislava and Vienna is really unprecedented and there is no other explanation,” said Jozef Rybár, PR manager of Pelikán, as quoted in a press release.
When eliminating other factors, such as the overall increase in the number of travellers using air transport, the launch of new flight connections and various discounts, the growth represents tens of percent. The interest of Slovaks in returning home to vote was enormous, he added.
Return in two weeks?
It would be interesting to check whether this trend will be repeated in two weeks time when the second round will take place, Rybár opined.
“It would be interesting to find out whether foreign-based Slovaks are able to invest even more money in flight tickets again or if they have kept their money for the second round,” Rybár added.Read also:Read more
It is another signal to politicians that they should allow the possibility of voting from abroad, he added.
Among the destinations, from which people flew to Bratislava or Vienna in the monitored period, were also the USA and even Hong Kong. Air tickets booked for a specific date from these destinations can be really expensive.
“If people purchase them at the last minute, they can cost hundreds or even thousands of euros,” Rybár summed up.
18. Mar 2019 at 21:57 | Compiled by Spectator staff