When can airfares potentially become more affordable for your overseas trip planning?

Turkish Airlines to Start Operating Flights to and from Australia

Key Points

  • Turkish Airlines will start operating flights to and from Australia this year.
  • The European carrier’s entry into the Australian market is expected to lower the cost of international airfares.
  • Experts are split on when they think prices could start to come down.
We’re only a few weeks into the new year, but if you’re a keen traveller or just in need of a holiday, you might already be planning your next international trip.
Unfortunately, flying from Australia to far-flung destinations such as Europe and North America has become increasingly expensive, especially compared to pre-pandemic prices.

Current Airfare Situation

Return flights from Australia to overseas destinations cost over 50 per cent more than they did in 2019, according to data released at the end of May last year by online travel company Kayak.

“Around those kind of more popular travel periods, if you can score yourself a return fare to Europe, generally, for around $2,000, you’ll feel like that’s a good deal,” Angus Kidman, a travel expert at financial comparison site Finder said.
But with Turkish Airlines entering the market in the coming months, and other airlines such as Singapore, Qantas, and Thai increasing their capacity this year, prices could be on their way down.
While Turkish Airlines’ first flights out of Australia aren’t available to book just yet, Kidman said he expected them to be cheaper than many of the European carrier’s competitors.
“We’ve seen that to be the case in other markets they operate in, that they’re not generally operating at the absolute top end,” he said.

“Also, because realistically to initially get cut through in the Australian market, they’re going to need to have a point of differentiation, and pricing is the most obvious one.”

Considerations for Summer Travel

Those hoping to make a saving on flights to Europe during the northern hemisphere’s summer months shouldn’t hold their breath, though, Kidman said.
“Typically over that peak [period], you just don’t see as many cheap fares because the flights can sell themselves out, anyway,” he said.
“I think someone who definitely knows that they want to travel to Europe in summer, particularly if they’ve got a timeframe in mind, you might as well start looking now because it may not get cheaper.

“If it’s just on your list of possibilities, but you’re not 100 per cent committed and you’re willing to wait for a bit then, yeah, hang around and think about it.”

Impact on Airfare Prices

Kidman said he expected it would take at least a few months for other airlines to start to drop their prices in response to increased competition from Turkish Airlines.
“We’ll see some good price impact this year,” he said,

“But I think the really big impacts are going to become more obvious in the second half of the year and the first half of next year.”

Gui Lohmann, a researcher at the Griffith Institute for Tourism, was a bit more conservative in his predictions.
“It will take some time to really shift the dial,” he said.
“We still have airports operating on 75 per cent of international capacity pre-pandemic, so until we reach levels that there are significant increase in traditional capacity, that’s when you really are going to start having competition,” he said.
Lohmann said he didn’t expect Turkish Airlines to “make any dent” in other airlines’ prices until next year, especially given most consumers tended to book long-haul trips no later than three to 12 months in advance.

SBS News contacted Turkish Airlines for confirmation on the date it expected to launch in Australia and when those flights would be available to book, but did not receive a response by deadline.

About the Author


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *