If you’re hoping to see Australia in the near future, then you may want to put a little extra away in the piggy bank because a new study by Flight Centre found that domestic airfares are getting pricier by the year.

If you’re anything like us you might want to grab a cup of coffee so you’re nice and wired, ready to take in these facts and figures.

The Aviation & Airfare report conducted by Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) and 4D found that international economy class fare ticket prices will hold for another year, while trans-Tasman and domestic fares will continue to rise.

Guess we’re going overseas again, or are we? Read on for more:


What are the quick facts?

Karry On - Flight Centre

  • The average increase in domestic economy class purchase fares increased +7% in corporate and +8% in leisure.
  • Fuel costs averaged US$86 a barrel for the year and remain stable into 2019.
  • Average Trans-Tasman Fares increased for Corporates travelling out of Australia by +$49 and the average price variances of corporate fares to leisure purchased fares is +$159.
  • 9.2 million inbound visitors into Australia during 2018 (+5% on 2017).
  • NSW is the most frequent state visited by inbound travellers.
  • 63 international airlines operated to/from Australia during 2018.
  • 2018 On-time performance: Virgin Network – departure 82.2%; arrival 80.4% and Qantas Network – departure 83.5%; arrival 82.7%.


What does this mean for international travel?

Karry On - Flight Centre

It’s good news for international travel! International airfare prices were trending flat in economy class travel – signalling the third year in a row where travel was affordable. YAY!

However, fares in business class saw +7.5% ($426) increases year on year, which is a result of strong traveller demand on key routes and airlines offering a premium product and service on board.

Graham Turner, CEO Flight Centre Travel Group, said the Travel and Tourism industry was reported as the second largest industry globally in 2018, which is a combined result of travellers and their travel purchases and also the investment in travel companies, workforce and technology.

“As a global business FCTG is making continued investment in travel technology to evolve how we package, search, select and consume travel.  With projections of 8B travellers by  2037 we are paused to enter the next decade with some exciting changes in the industry.”

Graham Turner, CEO Flight Centre Travel Group


What does this mean for domestic and trans-Tasman travel?

Karry On - Flight Centre

Benchmark Summary – Economy Class

From 2017 to 2018 the average price of domestic economy class leisure fares purchased through FCTG’s leisure division increased by 8%. Across key routes, purchase price increases of (+$14) and Trans-Tasman (+$49) were reported for domestic corporates travellers in economy class.

Despite the increase, Leisure travellers were smart and continued to purchase fares significantly cheaper by taking advantage of advance purchase fares, fixed travel plans and accessing flash-sales from airlines.

4D reported that leisure travellers purchased Domestic economy class fares $34 cheaper than corporate travellers and across the Trans-Tasman $158 cheaper.

Domestic airlines reduced seats during H2-2018 in response to the decline in demand. Airline load factors remained strong during the year increasing +1.2% to 80.6% for the full year reflecting how tightly airlines are managing their operations.


What does the future look like?

Karry On - Flight Centre

The year ahead will have four distinct areas of focus within the industry:

  • NDC (New Distribution Capability) for airline content retailing.
  • Getting Green and how we each travel responsibly and sustainably.
  • Tailored Technology to make the traveller retailing experience smart, clean and compressed.
  • The certainty of Economic Uncertainty as the remainder of 2019 plays out domestically post federal election, and geopolitical landscapes shift internationally.

Read the findings in 4D’s report here.