Domestic airfares rise in April

written by australianaviation.com.au | April 18, 2016
Australia's domestic carriers at Sydney Airport. (Seth Jaworski)
Australia’s domestic carriers at Sydney Airport. (Seth Jaworski)

Fares for the cheapest domestic tickets have risen slightly in April from where they were a year ago, new figures show.

Business class and more flexible economy air fares have also risen, the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics (BITRE) monthly report on domestic ticket prices showed.

In the report, the index measuring the best discount economy fare was at 58.9 index points in April, up from 54.3 in the prior corresponding period.

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It was the first monthly rise in the best discount economy index since October 2015.

The BITRE measure of air fares for business class domestic travel indicated the corporate and government market was in good shape, with the business class index rising to 94.6 points in April, from 90.3 points in the same month a year ago.

The restricted economy index rose to 79 index points, from 77.2 points in April 2015.

BITRE says its air fare series is a price index of the lowest available fare in each fare class, weighted over selected routes.

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Australia’s domestic market has been facing a slowdown in activity in the resources sector, which has affected demand for flights in states such as Western Australia and Queensland.

As a result, airlines such as Qantas have been shifting aircraft out of WA and Queensland mining routes and onto more profitable services mainly along Australia’s east coast and onto international flights.

Meanwhile, Virgin has been reducing its operating fleet – the airline has withdrawn five Embraer E190s – and flying its aircraft longer as part of efforts to boost profitability.

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