Competing Airlines Help Domestic Australian Airfares

Promising news for Australia-bound travelers from the Wall Street Journal today: Thanks to both Qantas and Virgin Australia slashing ticket prices in what the paper calls "an increasingly fierce turf war," getting around Down Under is more affordable than ever.

Domestic business-class fares in the month of August are around 20 percent cheaper than they were in a benchmark year of 2003, adjusted for inflation, according to Australia’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics. Restricted economy fares are more than 30 percent cheaper. And capacity expansions of around 10 percent in the six months to December 31 announced by both airlines in recent days mean fares soon get even better.

On the flipside, the article notes that getting to Australia from overseas has never been more expensive, and credits this to "the unprecedented strength of the local currency," which is still hovering above parity with the U.S. dollar.

Photo courtesy of Tourism Australia.