Aviation

Is this the end of cheap domestic flights?

Domestic flights are the most expensive they’ve been in nine years, which is great news for Qantas and Virgin.

Also, it’s Friday, which is great news for the rest of us.

The Australian Financial Review (AFR) has reported economy-class tickets for domestic flights have surged, as airlines tighten fare conditions and absorb profits.

Citing a report from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics, AFR says the number of domestic fares that include time and date changes and refunds has risen to 98.6 per cent this month, its highest, excluding the Christmas period, 2009.

Peter Harbison, executive chairman of research group Centre of Aviation, told AFR the spike in flexible domestic fares marks the end of a market-share battle between Qantas and Virgin that pushed prices down between 2012 and 2015.

“Now there is much more stability in the market,” he told AFR,

“They are both content to make profits”

Meanwhile, a study carried out for Telegraph UK  by Kayak suggests that in terms of bang for your buck, domestic flights work out MUCH more expensive than international in terms of dollars per mile.

The study, which assessed the average cost of one-way economy tickets from London to various other cities and divided the cost by distance, found that the further you fly the more value for money you get.

Which is unsurprising when you think about it.

“When setting their total ticket prices, airlines have to take a lot more into account than just fuel costs” Neil Cartwright, travel expert at Kayak, told the Telegraph.

“Taxes and airport fees, among other things, have to be paid regardless of flight length. So, while long-haul flights can seem expensive, they actually offer great value.”

telegraph graph 1
Source: Telegraph.co.uk

According to the study, the cheapest flight per mile would be from London to Singapore, at less than 3p (about five cents Australian) per mile.

Source: Telegraph.co.uk
Source: Telegraph.co.uk

In terms of long-haul flights, the most cost-effective are Singapore and a spate of US cities including LA, Boston and Chicago.

The least cost-effective cities are Miami, San Francisco, and Atlanta, which is home the world’s busiest airport, accompanied by Tokyo and Dubai.

Source: Telegraph.co.uk
Source: Telegraph.co.uk

The difference becomes more obvious when looking at European flights, with flights to cities situated closer to London working out almost four times the price of cities further away, such as Madrid, Athens, and Bucharest.

Source: Telegraph.co.uk
Source: Telegraph.co.uk

The worst value for money is clearly domestic flights, with the most expensive flight, from London to Manchester, clocking in at 38.67p per mile (about 70 Australian cents) which is almost eleven times more expensive than a flight to Singapore.

Which is as good an excuse as any to start planning your next overseas trip if you ask us!

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