Cheap flights to Bali, Phuket and Europe as airlines seek to win back travelers

Airfares to some popular destinations are the cheapest they have ever been, but experts warn prices are likely to rise as demand returns.

Australians who book early bird deals for overseas trips can get the best deals to destinations like Bali, Phuket, Auckland and Europe. Recent deals to Phuket and Bali have seen return flights under $250 return, while a Melbourne-Berlin return flight costs less than $700.

“The world is opening up to Australian travellers, and border updates and changes are happening rapidly,” Webjet chief executive David Galt said.

“As competition between airlines continues to intensify in light of these announcements, flight discounts and increased flight capacity – among other benefits – should continue to materialize.

“It’s an exciting time for Australians keen to start locking in on those overdue overseas holidays and there are some great flight deals out there right now.”

However, prices on some routes may soon increase, along with demand from Australian travellers. Fares are generally set on the basis of supply and demand and, with some continued supply constraints, particularly for airlines that have mothballed planes and furloughed staff during the pandemic, demand could push prices up.

But airlines will want to maintain consumer confidence and try to rein in increases so as not to dampen the new enthusiasm for overseas travel.

“Over the coming weeks, we expect flight prices to evolve as clearer pathways to the full reopening of international travel are charted and network planners bolster capacity and schedules to allow airlines airlines to fly at scale,” said Brendan Walsh, pricing expert at Sky Scanner.

“We may see price increases as demand returns, but airlines and travel suppliers will likely continue to offer good value to meet growing demand and encourage travelers to book. .”

Supply difficulties are one of the reasons why flights to the United States are currently so expensive compared to other destinations. The number of international air carriers from the United States has fallen sharply during the pandemic, with Virgin Australia also reducing its American flights and instead forming a partnership with United Airways.

“There’s less competition for direct flights from Australia to the US and limited availability, so prices have gone up,” said Kelly Spencer, managing director of Flight Center Australia. “But with Australia’s borders open, it will mean more international tourists will come to Australia, so outbound carriers will have to fill their planes on the way back.

“At the moment, for most destinations, however, airlines are vying for customers and trying to relaunch their services. And we’re seeing a lot of budget airlines that have destinations like Bali and Phuket as their main routes. competition with older full-service carriers.”

Flight capacities are already improving in response to an increase in demand for international travel from Australia. Skyscanner saw a 39% increase in global bookings in January 2022, compared to the previous month, while Webjet saw a 282% increase in searches for flights to Bali in recent weeks compared to early January, and an increase of 234% of flight searches. to New Zealand.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said last year that with an increase in the number of passengers coming to Australia, good prices would be offered to fill flights back to Europe. A Jetstar spokesperson said they have held regular international sales with fares as low as $109 one-way to Bali.

In Europe and the United States, where travel demand is returning to near pre-pandemic levels, Skyscanner’s Walsh says ticket prices are stabilizing and prices have adjusted accordingly.

“Most suppliers will struggle to maintain attractive fares as they compete to regain traveler business and confidence, shifting capacity to serve popular routes and competing for bookings,” it said. he declares.

But at Flight Centre, Ms Spencer predicts prices will rise as confidence returns and bookings increase.

“We tell people to jump on these fares early to get some of the lowest prices,” she said.

Cheap flights in 2022

Berlin from $669 return from Melbourne, $757 return from Sydney

Auckland from $314 return via Melbourne, $377 return via Sydney

London from $1099 return via Sydney

Paris from $1126 return via Sydney

(Fares quoted are for economy class, correct at time of writing)

Source: Skyscanner

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