Aussie flights likely to cost less than $30
With the easing of border restrictions on the horizon, the price of a plane ticket is set to tumble as domestic travel heats up.
Travel experts predict prices will plummet as more planes take to our skies, after Qantas announced they'd be increasing their network from 100 flights to more than 300 each week.
While flight prices are currently rather high, with a Qantas flight from Sydney to Melbourne costing as much as $539 one way, a drop in fares may be on the horizon as domestic travel increases and border restrictions are predicted to ease.
Speaking to news.com.au, Angus Kidman, Finder's travel guru said all eyes will be on Queensland which he tips will boast some of the best airfare savings.
"There will be plenty of sub-$100 seats around, but I don't expect we'll see a return to the $19 fares that Tiger was offering a few years back. And as usual, flights on weekends won't be as cheap.
"Melbourne-Sydney is Australia's busiest route, but has a lot of business travel so doesn't usually see the biggest discounts. Once Queensland opens up its borders, I'd expect sub-$30 fares for the Gold Coast.
Last month Alan Joyce, CEO of Australia's national carrier Qantas, outlined three things he promises will return after a lengthy and costly suspension of service due to the coronavirus pandemic.
And one of those promises is flights from Melbourne to Sydney that could be as cheap as $19, and even a Jetstar Perth to Sydney/Melbourne fare would be from $89 one-way on the other side of the coronavirus crisis.
In an open letter to travellers, staff and other stakeholders, the airline boss said "low fares" would be a key element of getting the industry moving again.
"Airfares could be half of what they are today," he said.
"For example on Melbourne-Sydney you could see Jetstar fares of $39, you could see $19 airfares and we will still cover our cash costs."
Mr Kidman said that while cheap fares will be welcomed by Aussie travellers, rebuilding the industry will be a slow process to get it back to pre-COVID levels.
"It will take a while to build travel confidence back up. So there might be an oversupply of seats in the first few months of flights," he said.
"Jetstar's first post-COVID sale featured very similar prices to those we'd seen prior to the pandemic. So bargain travel will definitely be possible, but with some limitations. For instance, Jetstar's cheapest fares are usually out of Melbourne's secondary Avalon airport, but flights aren't operating from Avalon right now."
How we travel will also change, with both Virgin Australia and Qantas announcing how the in-flight experience will be different post-pandemic.
Passengers are being warned that getting on a plane will take longer, because of social distancing measures while waiting in a line. There will be more masks, sanitising stations and crew interaction will be minimal.
Virgin Australia announced today including the roll out of a pre-health check questionnaire, contactless check-in and staggered boarding.
Guests will be encouraged to bring and use their own face masks and hand sanitiser
for their journey, however face masks and sanitiser are available to guests on-board.
From tomorrow, Qantas and Jetstar passengers will experience a new way of flying with both carriers announcing they will be implementing a string of changes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dubbed the Fly Well program, the new measures will see a number of temporary changes rolled out to keep both passengers and crew safe while in the air.
From June 12, the airline will issue passengers with masks on board, have hand sanitising stations installed at departure gates and enhanced aircraft cleaning between flights.
There will also be changes to the way passengers check in for their flights, with the airline encouraging everyone to use contactless check-in (via online/app) and a self-serve bag drop prior to boarding.
But keeping the middle-seat free, which the airline introduced in April, will become a thing of the past under the new health and safety measures because the policy is impractical.
"Social distancing on an aircraft isn't practical the way it is on the ground, and given the low transmission risk on board, we don't believe it's necessary in order to be safe. The extra measures we're putting in place will reduce the risk even further," Qantas Group Medical Director, Dr Ian Hosegood, said last month.
Before seating, passengers will be given sanitising wipes to clean their seat belts, trays and armrests themselves.
For those who enjoy a meal on board, the airline says the catering service will be simplified
to minimise touchpoints for crew and passengers.
Originally published as Aussie flights likely to cost less than $30