The cost of travelling within Australia has decreased significantly over the past five months, giving an increasingly large amount of the population access to low-cost fares and simply travel options. A study of airline prices has revealed that passengers in Australia and New Zealand enjoy some of the cheapest in the world, with flight ‘value’ measured in distance travelled and compared to fares.
The value on offers has been most visible throughout June and July, where the low cost of travelling between Australia’s eastern states lead to a surge in short-distance bookings. The most popular route was that between state capitals Sydney and Melbourne, with tickets available for less than $70AUD on many of the country’s leading airlines – pricing rarely seen during peak travel periods.
It’s a similar situation across the Tasman Sea, with air travel prices in New Zealand dropping due to the prevalence of flight comparison services and ‘last minute’ booking agents. Domestic fares within New Zealand rarely surpass $100NZD (£45 GBP) and are a frequent purchase for families that are split between major population centres and small regional towns.
However, the period of ultra-cheap fares isn’t expected to last. Australian low-cost airline Pacific Blue announced its intentions of leaving the New Zealand market, instead focusing on delivering services exclusively to Australian airports. The company is a subsidiary of Virgin Blue, an airline that many believe has been responsible for the rapid fall in Australian air travel prices.
With the continent’s summer drawing nearer and travel plans being finalised, the likelihood of fares remaining at their current point is slim. Those looking to make the most of low-cost fares should be booking while the climate is cold, as the decrease in competition and increase in demand is likely to drive fares up throughout Australia’s summer period.