Aviation

Australian travelers face expensive international tickets for at least four or five years | Airline

Australians who want to travel abroad and reunite with loved ones after two years of restrictions on the pandemic border are facing expensive international tickets, and a new analysis shows that prices in all directions have risen by an average of more than 50% compared to travel before the pandemic.

Many airlines have cut all services and closed local offices at the peak of a strict quarantine restriction on arrival in 2021 as they are slowly resuming and resuming services to the country, the cost of international travel to and from Australia is expected to remain high.

International airlines account for about a fifth of passenger traffic to Australia compared to the pre-pandemic level – excluding Western Australia, where traffic is 1% – according to the Australian Airlines Council.

Prices for economy credit places are on average 54% higher than before the pandemic, according to data from the travel site Kayak, provided by the Guardian Australia. The data was based on a search of flights from 1 to 13 February, which took off within 180 days of the search date.

Data show that New Delhi was the most sought after international destination in early February by Australians looking to book a holiday, and flights to the Indian capital were the most inflated compared to the cost before the pandemic.

The average cost of a return economy flight to New Delhi is currently $ 1,584, compared to $ 1,025 in February 2020.

Bali is the second most popular international destination among Australians, with return flights to Denpasar costing an average of $ 622. Air tickets to Bali are among the closest to the cost of a pandemic, only 13% more expensive than the February 2020 average.

Flights to London – the third most searched among Australians in February so far – cost an average of $ 1,832 for a round trip ticket. In February 2020, the average cost was $ 1,477.

Manila is the fourth largest number of search destinations, the average cost of a return ticket is 1352 dollars. This is 81% more than prices before the pandemic, when the average fare was $ 746 in February 2020.

Australians also want to travel to New Zealand – where Covid’s entry rules are still in place, but have announced they will be accepting vaccinated New Zealanders and visa holders coming from Australia. from 27 February – with flights to Auckland, the sixth most popular destination. Round-trip tickets cost an average of $ 674, which is 46% more than before the pandemic.

The average cost of a return ticket to Los Angeles is $ 1,666 compared to $ 1,074 in February 2020.

Many international airlines have announced the resumption of some Australian routes and increased frequencies on others after the Morrison government announced the restoration of the country’s borders will allow all other visa holders, including tourists, entry from 21 February.

In the days following the announcement, the search for flights to Australia increased by 80%, with most search queries taking place in the UK, US and South Korea.

People hoping to travel to Australia are faced with slightly cheaper air tickets, with data on kayaks showing that fares to and from the first segment are on average about 40% higher than the cost of a pandemic.

Dr Tony Weber of the Aviation School of the University of New South Wales said he expected air fares to remain high for “at least four to five years”.

Weber, who is also the CEO of Airline Intelligence and Research and a former chief economist at Qantassaid it was partly due to the huge financial blow that the airlines suffered across Covid.

“Airlines are still repairing their balance sheets, they haven’t had a profit in the last few years, so they need to take more tickets, they need to squeeze more revenue out of customers.”

“If you have 80% less vacancies, but the demand for space is much higher, then prices should be higher,” said Weber. “Airlines will not immediately scale up services to meet demand because it’s still so uncertain and risky that they’ll be conservative in returning supply.”

Weber added that fuel costs – which fell sharply at the start of the pandemic – rose again and are now about 20% higher than before the pandemic, contributing to rising air fares.

Weber predicted that the high cost of international flights would force more Australian tourists to take advantage of domestic flights – which resumed at a much faster pace than international levels – with increasing demand that could potentially increase fares on local tickets.

Meanwhile, Qantas has angered some local travelers: a recent booking failure has led to a charge for some flights on some customers ’credit cards, even though the fare has already been charged at the time of purchase.

One affected customer, who declined to give a name, told the Guardian Australia that “as a result we are left on our credit card and cannot make purchases for up to the three to seven days it takes to fix it.”

It is clear that the failure affected a small number of customers, and Qantas is committed to clearing the cost of maintenance within a week.

Qantas spokesman defends recent criticism from customers with flight credit vouchers argued that their loans were insufficient cover the cost of the new fare on the same route.

She said that the problem affected customers who booked a flight on October 1, but decided not to go on it, despite the fact that the service continues.

She explained that while the airline made its traditional fare rules more flexible at the start of the pandemic, it has since “repealed some of those rules”, meaning that customers who requested credit for a flight could only rebook services of equal value .

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/feb/17/australian-travellers-facing-expensive-international-air-fares-for-at-least-four-or-five-years Australian travelers face expensive international tickets for at least four or five years | Airline

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