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Big drop in economy airfares revealed

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Big drop in economy airfares revealed

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Airfares to some of the most popular tourist destinations have fallen in price over the past year, according to Flight Centre.

In newly released data, the Australian travel agency revealed the average price of an international economy airfare sold in Australia has dropped 12.8 per cent.

Figures show trips to Indonesia are down 21.01 per cent, NZ down 13.03 per cent and the US also down 12.45 per cent.

The UK has seen a decrease of 8.05 per cent, while European destinations France, Germany and Spain are down 7.91 per cent, 6.9 per cent and 6.03 per cent, respectively.

The figures are based on flights between January and March last year, compared to the same time this year.

“In fantastic news for travellers the latest data shows the average cost of an international airfare is down almost 13 per cent when compared to this time last year,” Flight Centre global managing director Andrew Stark told news.com.au.

“What that means in real figures is that an economy return airfare between Sydney and Bali would’ve cost on average $1010 this time last year, now it will now set you back under $800.”

Mr Stark said that while it would have cost around $2300 to get to the US, it’s now closer to the $2000 mark, according to Flight Centre figures.

He attributed it to increased competition and capacity.

“It’s vital that there is active competition between the airlines and the more we see of it, the more likely we are to see cheaper airfares, more destination options and a better experience for consumers.”

It comes as Qantas announced on Tuesday it will fly Brisbane to Manila for the first time in 10 years, and fire up more flights to Singapore and India.

However, it has had to ditch its Sydney to Shanghai route.

“Since covid, the demand for travel between Australia and China has not recovered as strongly as expected,” Qantas International chief executive Cam Wallace said.

“In some months, our flights to and from Shanghai have been operating around half full.”

Sydney to Singapore will increase from 14 to 17 return flights a week and Sydney to Bengaluru increases from five a week to seven; both subject to government and regulator approval.

Meanwhile, on the domestic front, Mr Stark said airfares have stabilised year on year.

“But it’s important to note that they are slightly ahead of the cost cycle because capacity within Australia was faster to return to the market,” Mr Stark explained.

“When it comes to getting the best prices airfares, as a general rule the further in advance you book the better, but keep a close eye on sale periods and talk to your travel agent to get the best deal.”

It comes as the Australian travel agency launches one of its biggest ever sales with travellers able to save on top of the already reduced airfares.

“Our Big Red Sale is offering half price holidays, so in addition to cheaper flights like our $1099 return airfare to London, you can save up to 50 per cent on cruising, touring and holiday packages,” Mr Stark said.

“It’s the biggest savings for customers we’ve ever been able to draw together at the same time.

The Big Red Sale is on until June 5, 2024.

This week, Qantas and Virgin also announced huge sales across Australia with thousands of seats dropping well below $200.

On Qantas, prices start from just $105 (if flying from Launceston to Melbourne) and $109 (if you’re heading out of Ballina bound for Sydney).

The sale is on until May 20 unless sold out prior, with other highlights including Coffs Harbour to Sydney from $129, Cairns to Townsville from $139 and Adelaide to Kangaroo Island from $139 one way.

Rival airline Virgin Australia has a sale of its own, with a focus on the Sunshine State.

The airline announced on Monday that flights to the Gold Coast will start from just $69 per person, one way.

The sale, running for seven days only, is valid on select Gold Coast fares departing between Tuesday and Thursday (midweek) from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra.

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