Airfares are set to dive after a big spike in prices brought on by the pandemic and a slow return to the skies. Experts are predicting the cost of domestic and international airfares is set to fall by 13 per cent.

Flight Centre Travel Group Leisure CEO James Kavanagh shared with Cruise Passenger the destinations that are already experiencing steep cost reductions.

“Some of the biggest drops include Indonesia down 21 per cent, New Zealand down 13 per cent and the USA down 12.5 per cent,” he said.

“A return economy airfare on a popular route such as Sydney to Bali would have cost on average $1010 this time last year; now it will set you back under $800.

“It’s vital that there is active competition between the airlines and the more we see of it, the more likely we are to see cheaper airfares, more destination options and a better experience for consumers.”

For cruise passengers, the fact that airfares are set to dive in key destinations in Europe are also likely to fall — making the Mediterranean and European river cruising

Where airfares are set to dive

Those yearning for a return to cruise ships are set to reap the benefits of increased capacity and lower prices. Flight Centre data shared with Cruise Passenger shows the average ticket price to a number of popular European cruise destinations has dropped significantly. And these destinations are where airfares are set to dive:

  • United Kingdom by 8.5 per cent
  • Italy down by 11.5 per cent
  • Greece by 11.44 per cent
  • France by 7.91 per cent
  • Spain by 6.03 per cent
  • Germany by 6.9 per cent.

This will be particularly welcome news to Australian travellers, who have had to exercise more patience than most. FCM Travel and Flight Centre Travel Group data confirms seat numbers within Australasia have been the slowest to return to pre-pandemic levels, as compared to North America, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe.

Although there’s still some patience yet to be exercised — with prices between many “pairs” of major international cities still up 11 per cent compared to the same period in 2019 — the time to start booking is now, according to industry insiders.

“The drop we’re seeing in airfares across the board for international destinations is great news for travellers,” says Mr Kavanagh.

“With an average 13 per cent drop in international airfares, it’s an ideal time to book your next overseas holiday.”

Keen travellers will have to be diligent if they wish to take advantage of the predicted drop in airline ticket prices, according to the experts.

Airfares are set to dive
Airfares are set to dive with the addition of new carriers like Turkish Airlines entering the market.

Experts on how to save

Speaking on the Today Show earlier this month, Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) CEO Margy Osmond drew a correlation between a bounceback in available seat numbers and a predicted fall in prices.

“We’re starting to see the return of so many airlines. That went away during Covid,” she said. “So yes, you’re going to see more of these prices coming down as there are more seats and more capacity.”

“Get yourself onto the website of those airlines with regularity. Just keep checking them and get yourself on their lists with their apps to get notifications,” said Ms Osmond.

“What’s happening a lot now is they’re having flash sales, so you need to be on the ball.

“If you’re planning an overseas trip, make sure you’re getting the notifications from your airlines of choice in terms of those inexpensive airfares and do your research … sometimes these things will appear because there [are] suddenly extra seats. You really just need to be on the ball and be a very active traveller.”

Mr Kavanagh echoed this sentiment of vigilance and planning.

“As always, the best way to save is to book early and talk to a travel agent who can keep you informed when there are savings to be had across flights, cruises and holidays,” he said.

How to beat high airfares

Flights from Australia to Europe consistently rank among the most expensive in the world. Don’t despair. Here are some strategies to help you save on your dream European adventure:

Embrace Flexibility: Airfares fluctuate significantly depending on travel dates, seasons, and even the day of the week you fly. Consider flying during the shoulder seasons (spring or autumn) when prices tend to dip compared to peak summer months. Be flexible with your travel dates; even a shift of a few days can lead to substantial savings.

Seek Out Deals and Discounts: Airlines frequently offer special promotions and discounts. Subscribe to email alerts from your preferred airlines and travel websites to stay updated on flash sales and limited-time offers. Consider “mistake fares” – occasional pricing errors that airlines sometimes offer at unbelievably low prices. However, be prepared to act quickly as these deals disappear fast.

Explore Alternative Routes: Flying directly to Europe isn’t always the most economical option. Consider flying into a secondary European city with a budget airline and then taking a connecting flight or train to your final destination. This strategy can sometimes unlock cheaper fares.

Embrace the Stopover: Some airlines allow stopovers in a different city for a minimal additional cost. This can be a great way to break up the long journey and explore another destination for a few days.

Become a Mileage Master: Sign up for frequent flyer programs with airlines that fly to Europe. Accumulate points through everyday spending and credit card rewards to redeem for flights or flight upgrades later.

Consider Multi-leg Journeys: If you’re open to a more adventurous approach, explore options like flying to Asia first and then connecting to Europe on a budget airline. This might involve some additional planning and layovers, but the potential cost savings can be significant.