Airfares falling as travel returns to pre-COVID-19 capacity

New data shows global and domestic capacity has reached pre-pandemic levels with fares dropping as a result.

Data from Flight Centre’s FCM Travel and Corporate Traveller shows global and domestic air capacity have reached pre-COVID-19 levels with international airfares out of Australia becoming cheaper.

Australia’s international capacity is currently at 95 per cent, according to Flight Centre Corporate Global COO Melissa Elf.

“We are anticipating that to tick up to 98 per cent next month, and hover around that mark for the next six months,” says Elf.

“As of this month, and for the first time since the pandemic, we have reached aircraft passenger seat capacity that is above or beyond pre-pandemic levels globally. 

“This means that across the world we have as many seats available to passengers as we did before 2019.”

US carriers such as American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Airlines are all adding capacity, beyond their pre-2019 levels.

The increased capacity means airfares for corporate travellers are decreasing. 

According to the data, international seat capacity out of Perth is at 111 per cent with Sydney nearing full capacity at 97 per cent.

“An analysis of key international routes for Australian travellers has found fares on some routes dropped by up to 25 per cent, and with more and more capacity and competition being introduced to the market it’s a trend we’ll continue to see throughout the rest of the year,” says Elf.

“We’re seeing promising signs that this will be a long lasting trend, thanks to new international capacity announcements like recent ones from Delta Airlines, Singapore Airlines, China Southern and Jetstar.”

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