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Domestic airfares skyrocket

Domestic Economy airfares have risen by 56% between April and August this year, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) latest Airline Competition in Australia report.

WHILE April represented an 11-year low price for Economy tickets, August reflected the highest prices in close to two years following four months of rising fuel prices, pent-up passenger demand, and temporary capacity reductions.

“In these circumstances, more than ever, the level of competition between airlines is incredibly important to maintain pressure on ticket prices and service levels across the industry,” ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said.

 

The upward trend in ticket prices is predicted to last until at least October as the aviation industry continues to tackle workforce shortages.

The quarterly report also revealed that around 4.7 million passengers took domestic flights in July, which was the highest number since the start of the pandemic and added up to 89% of the passenger volume in July 2019.

Travel to the Gold Coast has been extremely popular among Australians.

Queensland was a favourite destination among Aussie travellers, with demand for travel between Canberra and the Gold Coast almost doubling compared to July 2019, while travel between the Gold Coast and Melbourne and Adelaide also outstripped pre-pandemic demand.

“Pent-up demand for leisure travel, particularly from people in the colder southern states, continues to drive the recovery in passenger numbers,” Cass-Gottlieb explained.

“Demand on routes between Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney has lagged behind, in part due to the slower recovery of corporate and business travel,” she added.

Business airfares shot up by 17% between June and August, the report also showed.

Although the domestic airline industry reported the worst on-time performance on record in July 2022, Cass-Gottlieb predicts that airlines “will be honest and proactive in communicating to passengers the reasons why a flight is delayed or cancelled, how the consumer guarantees apply, and what other compensation they are entitled to”.

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