Domestic airfares in Australia have risen sharply since May by as much as 96 percent in some areas, with industry experts expecting that air ticket prices will remain high for some time.
The average round-trip price for a domestic flight was AU $409 (US$282) in July, up 24 percent from May, according to a market analysis by ticket booking site Kayak.
Gold Coast residents saw the most significant increase in ticket prices, with return economy fares up 96 percent to Melbourne and 91 percent to Sydney.
Flights from Cairns to Brisbane are also 90 percent more expensive than in May. Flights from Adelaide to Melbourne are 87 percent more expensive, and flights from Darwin to Sydney have increased by 85 percent.
Prices for flights to domestic resorts have also risen sharply.
A flight from Brisbane to Alice Springs now costs AU$1,058, up 29 percent from May and even costs AU$100 more than a flight to Fiji.
A round-trip ticket from Brisbane to Fiji on Qantas is currently AU $950.
Airfare Increases ExpectedHowever, domestic airfare increases were expected, with both Qantas and Virgin Australia saying last month that they would pass on the cost of increased oil prices to travellers.
"Airfares have to go up to cover that," Qantas Chief executive Alan Joyce told reporters on June 24 in Perth.
"The way to do that is you cut back on capacity. ... you fill more of the seats, that's more efficient, and airfares go up. That's the reality."
Joyce said at the time that the company would face an AU& 1.8 billion increase in fuel cost compared to pre-COVID levels.
Travel experts warn that those planning a vacation should prepare for continued high fares.
“The pandemic saw airlines take on a massive financial blow. They’re only in the early stages of recovering their losses,” Stephanie Yip, an editor at Finder.com.au told Courier Mail.
Tips to Get the Lowest AirfareNicola Carmichael, brand director at Kayak, suggested a few tips to get the cheapest flight tickets.
“If you can ... choose ‘flexible’ filters,” Carmichael told 7 News. “Flying out and returning midweek vs the weekend can be cheaper on short-haul and longer haul.”
She also recommends setting a price alert.
“Price alerts help travellers save money by alerting them when prices change for a flight or hotel they want,” she said.