Aussie budget carriers providing record low airfares

A combination of low fuel prices and increased competition leads to record-low airfares.

Passenger seat of plane with screen. Have a good flight!

Airlines have responded to the low cost of fuel, increased competition and a weaker Aussie dollar by offering some of the lowest priced airfares on record – and they could go even lower.

As little as five years ago, who would have dreamed that you could fly from Melbourne to Sydney for as little as $35 one way or from Perth to Bangkok for $226 return?

“We’ve seen airlines respond to market conditions like increased competition and reduced fuel prices with amazing airfares not seen before,” Flight Centre’s Tom Walley told “Even looking back just 12 months, an airfare to South America for under $1300 return was unheard of, now that’s the type of price you can expect to pay.”

The competition between low-cost airlines such as Scoot, Tigerair, AirAsiaX and Jetstar have not only helped to drive market prices down, but have also increased pressure on premium airlines to lower their prices.

“This is particularly true on key routes to the US, including LA, South America and much of Europe, as well as domestic fares,” said Mr Walley. “In South America, for example, Air New Zealand entered the market with flights to Buenos Aires within the last six months, introducing competitive prices that’s helped reduce airfares to the region as a whole.”

In 2015, worldwide airfares fell by 4.5 per cent and are expected to drop even further.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA): “Competitive pressures within the industry mean that the declines in oil prices seen around the end of last year and into 2016 are likely to translate into further declines in fares.”

“Airfares are expected to decline (in 2016) due to ongoing competition from low-cost airlines which will likely boost passenger numbers but weaken price increases slowing industry revenue growth,” added IBISWorld’s Senior Aviation Industry Analyst, Tristan Williams.

Australians may once have shied away from low-cost airlines, for fear they’d ‘get what they paid for’. But those days are over, as more Aussies embrace budget carriers.

By the end of 2015, airlines such AirAsia, Jetstar and Scoot now account for almost 20 per cent of the total outbound travel market.

“It’s a very exciting time for the industry, when pricing has never been better the quality of travel products is extremely high and more people can get out and explore the world,” said Mr Walley.

Would you rather fly somewhere for less or pay more for luxury? Why not share your views and opinions on budget airlines with our members?



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    7th Sep 2016
    Don't get too excited. There is a serious sting in the tail. Because their cash return is so comparatively lower with the cheaper air fares, it also requires MORE passengers to cover the cost of the flight. Jetstar in particular do not think twice about cancelling a flight because it had insufficient numbers, even repeating the cancellation for the next flight. Try being in Thailand in the middle of the night with two children after being told that the first flight had been cancelled and then, after a three hour road trip, getting to the airport to be told again that the next flight had also been cancelled turning an 8 hours trip into a 24 hour one, with no choice!!!
    Try getting back from Sydney to Melbourne on any day at any hour and see how often there is suddenly a mysterious "mechanical fault" and a very small number of passengers, or pay $hundreds if you are desperate by getting another flight with another company!! Jetstar, coincidentally. $1.2 Billion PROFIT last year?? Coincidence?? No more "losing" flights as was routinely allowed previously when they actually CARED for their passengers!!!
    7th Sep 2016
    Why are some people so tight or dumb or both?

    7th Sep 2016
    This may very well be because the ability to pay is the lowest in 30 years. You get only, IF you are VERY lucky, what you pay for. Pay less, GET less. This is not a cynical comment, it is reality. There is no such thing as a free, OR cheap, lunch. Sorry to disappoint.
    7th Sep 2016
    Very true Swift Edward :) In so many ways now. Cheap foodstuffs are more likely full of (cheap) rubbish and not healthy, clothes are poorly made, low in quality but cheap and thrown away when worn a couple of times. Machinery, goods of all description are cheaper by comparison with yesteryear but don't last any longer and when they break down are discarded so we buy more (cheap) products. One l difference though is where most of this stuff is now made...........hmmmmm ??
    7th Sep 2016
    heyyybob, very true, but that is the "Fair" Trade Agreement for you. If you ask a politician why are not the reduced prices for these goods being passed on to consumers in this country, like we were told by the government they would be, you will probably be told by the snivelling little toad that the retailers are holding back the difference. Then you may ask him/her why the ACCC' or other "capable" (HA!) government body, authority, entity, quango, department, section, or wherever else these deadbeats hide, hasn't taken action against this malpractice, you will more than likely be told they will look into it, walk away, and you will never hear from them again. These scenarios happen every day and we are paying dearly in EVERY way for these non-actions. No matter what kind of problem we may present to the government it is either unethical, unconstitutional, not economically feasible, not within the parameters of government policy, or some other reason to get them out of doing ANYTHING they are PAID to do or to put it off to a later date - at which time they will no longer be in office because of their gross ineptitude. Bloody pathetic. You may as well talk to the cat.
    7th Sep 2016
    My comment above is fairly well summed up by the sign in the government office:

    7th Sep 2016
    F.E. I wonder sometimes (I know that I'm wasting my time, but) who is at fault. The toadying Head of Dept, Chief Secretary etc etc who covers his/her inadequacies/rear end by saying what The Boss wants to hear - 'Yes Minister." Or the Minister who is only really concerned doing that which will get him relected (job extended) in 2, 3 years time. So, so few are prepared to stick their necks out and .........
    1. sometimes buck The Party Line.
    2. make a good decision that may lose them too many votes.
    3. alienate The Boss by insisting the hardest decision is the only REAL solution to the problem. etc. etc.
    7th Sep 2016
    heyyybob, I have nil respect for most politicians as the great majority of them are only arse-kissing sycophants who couldn't hold down a real job because of their own inadequacies, delusions of self-importance, or misguided place in life due to a mental issue. The two which I don't mind are Pauline Hanson and Nick Xenophon because they both have the balls to say what they think and stand up for their beliefs, unlike the bobbing head toads who you see standing behind their party "leaders" - now there is a misnomer! How the hell these spineless "sheep" can look at themselves when shaving or be respected by their partners is well beyond my complehension. One can only delude themselves and others for so long IF they are of sound mind, so here may lie a plausible reason - one we could add to laziness as VERY few of them does sod all in comparison to their renumeration. Lies, open slather receiving gratuities, convenient forgetfulness when it comes to declaring gifts or payments, overloading expense accounts, government credit cards used for hookers, accommodation imbursements for staying in a house owned by their wife, half a million dollar office refurbishment, helicopter travel instead of car - the list goes on further than my blood pressure goes up. These sorts of things we would expect from a shonky dictatorship in Africa, but not here and yet it's happening.
    7th Sep 2016
    ** sigh again. Yes to the above :(
    7th Sep 2016
    What the heck are you two guys on?? Tell us how it relates to the subject, cheap flights???
    7th Sep 2016
    Of course it does. Read deeper.
    7th Sep 2016
    I have never paid more than 1400.00 ret. from Australia to USA and UK from 1982 till 2014.
    Have experienced a variety of carriers, experienced 2 bad flights, the other 9 were fantastic.
    There is never a perfect time to pay, you pay what you can at the time that suits you to go.
    7th Sep 2016
    me too, fast eddy is in his/her usual bitchy mood, he is never satisfied, offer him a free flight and he will still complain he has to walk on to the aeroplane, he rather be carried to his seat and be settled in it and be read a fairytale before he can fall asleep.
    7th Sep 2016
    Dastyari has resigned. I blame the top end of town.
    7th Sep 2016
    himjerk, all idiotic assumption as usual. I hope you grow up in mind before your expiry date. You are truly a very sad, troubled, lonely being.
    8th Sep 2016
    topic: air fares the lowest ever, fast eddie's comments it is the politicians fault, not hard to see who is the idiot in these columns
    7th Sep 2016
    Agree, fares are more affordable currently, however these advertised budget/sale fares are almost impossible to actually book anyway & suitable times are impossible if you try to align them with work hours & other life occurrances, family commitments, etc (weekends off, etc). Not very often have I been successful in securing cheap flights both directions of travel.
    9th Sep 2016
    According to this article it's cheaper for someone to fly from Perth to Bangkok than it is for those like me who live in rural Qld to fly to our nearest regional centre 900kms away for leisure, work or specialist medical services.
    Really bugs me how random domestic pricing is. I am not a miner but live close to mining communities. We have more than 1 airline to service both locals & the high volume of fly in fly out workers yet rarely are we offered discount flights & even when we are it's dearer than the above flight from Perth to Bankok. We wouldn't have more than 1 airline if they weren't making a profit (most flights are full).
    Yes they do respond to market conditions Leon but that outcome is not necessarily favourable!

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