It’s not a cheap time to fly to Australia right now. But in the last few days, we’ve seen an incredible price surge even beyond what we’ve grown accustomed to.
One way flights from London to Sydney have been slung of late for as much as $43,000, Australian Aviation claims. Other reports (from news.com.au and the Sydney Morning Herald) suggested the priciest tickets were being advertised online for $38,000.
Either way, the wallet-trembling prices follow the federal government’s new inbound passenger cap, which has been introduced in response to Australia’s current battle against the Delta variant of Covid-19.
COVID LIVE: Sydney COVID cases expected to decline, London to Australia flights hit $38,000 after cap slashed https://t.co/14HPz7Mhul
— The Sydney Morning Herald (@smh) July 3, 2021
Australian Aviation yesterday claimed these are “likely the highest prices in history.”
Our take? As far as we know, that $43,000 flight could well be the most expensive economy flight in history.
At the time of writing, prices seem to have settled a little (or perhaps the most expensive flights, on the likes of Etihad and Air Moldova, have now been booked out), with desirable flights for this week (i.e. ones without a huge layover) starting at $10,000 and maxing out at $27,207.
Australian Aviation reported yesterday that prices from other major capitals to Sydney are pricey too, writing: “New York regularly costs $20,000, Paris $30,000 and Tokyo $15,000.”
As Australia will be temporarily reducing its intake of international passengers by 50 per cent from July 14 from 6000 per week to just 3000, there are now fears carriers could price gouge – or stop passenger flights to Australia altogether.
Executive director of the Board of Airline Representatives of Australia, Barry Abram, rejects this. Mr Abram told The Guardian airlines are just recouping flight costs – and are under a huge amount of strain.
“They have continued to operate throughout the pandemic under extremely difficult commercial conditions and many large multinationals continue to bleed large cash flow losses.”
“Any notion they have been profiteering or gouging is just bizarre.”
There are around 34,000 Australians still stuck abroad. Hong Kong-based Jacinta Reddan from the Alliance of Australians Abroad has called the situation devastating, telling SBS News they feel “forgotten.”
“They’re worried that they’re going to be stuck without visas without anywhere to live and with nowhere to go, so it’s really alarming news.”
NEW from @hrw re government cutting international arrivals into #Australia by 50%. Australia has heavily restricted entry of its own citizens in a way no other democratic nation has. We need to remember all Australians have a right of return to their own country #strandedaussies pic.twitter.com/gQKaKRoxoW
— Sophie McNeill (@Sophiemcneill) July 2, 2021
Many other Australians, and Australians stuck abroad, have taken to Twitter to express their frustration.
$38,000 for a flight currently from London to Sydney or Melbourne? Price gouging at its worst. https://t.co/AaqGR2BWTJ
— Colleen Murrell🇪🇺🇮🇪🇦🇺🦘😎 (@ivorytowerjourn) July 3, 2021
With 34,000 Australians still stuck overseas, the Australian gov have halved the max allowed in to 3,035 per week. 😲https://t.co/LLwSsaNmtT
— Andrew Bickerton (@coder4hire) July 4, 2021
Yet further proof we need to vaccinate everyone and open up as soon as safely possible.
In the meantime – enjoy this video of Etihad’s pointy end experience. Just don’t think about how much it would cost right now…