With the perfect combination of cheap fuel prices, fierce competition and economic softness, cheap flights, especially on international routes, have emerged for all of us to take advantage of.
Global airfare prices have sunk to their lowest level in thirty years overall. The International Air Transport Association (IATA), says that airfares fell an average of 4.5% worldwide in 2015 with further slides to come this year! That long overdue holiday abroad or trip to visit family and friends overseas is a lot easier to accomplish now thanks to the cheap flights brought about by this decline.
Low-cost carriers have also played a big role in the reduction in airfares. Their models generally allow lower cost and higher capacity than full-service carriers due to their omission of premium classes and included meals and drinks. This in turn has led to full-service carriers to cut their prices due to the added competition for seats brought about by low-cost carriers, especially in the Asia/Pacific market. It is not uncommon now for full-service airlines to fully own a low-cost offshoot and effectively compete against themselves on a number of routes as there is a demand for both premium and budget travelers. Low-cost carriers are not however confined to domestic or short-haul routes as they traditionally were in the past.
In the Asia/Pacific market, airlines such as Jetstar, Scoot and Air Asia are prime examples of the new age long-haul low-cost carriers. In Europe, Norwegian are the prime example thanks to EU air agreements allowing them to fly from most EU countries to the US and Asia. In North America, The US are slow to adopt the long-haul, low-cost model. The US airline industry has been ravaged in recent years by mergers of once mighty carriers struggling to stay aloft on their own. Canada on the other hand has WestJet who are pioneering low-cost, cheap flights to Europe.
Regardless of the reason, there has arguably never been a better time to travel abroad and take advantage of the abundance of cheap flights available on the market today. Who knows how long they will last? It probably won’t be for ever as the cycle repeats itself but, it is certainly for a while yet!