Sydney-Melbourne: The airfares war has begun! Blood and cash will flow on the tarmac!
As of 1 March, there will be the new player REX on this domestic route, and as Australia’s busiest and most lucrative route – there will be blood on the tarmac when this war finishes.
REX Throws down AU$199 one-way business class gauntlet
Rex today is offering sale fares for the route in Business Class for AU$199, with economy from AU$49. That’s down from its initial AU$79 for Economy and AU$299 for Business Class.
Virgin has just thrown down the same gauntlet by matching the price.
Qantas is so far resisting this reign of gloves. It has offered the gesture of a drop of around AU$50 on its economy seats – dropping from AU$159 to a lead in rate of AU$110. It’s not budging on its stratospheric AU716 business fares however – yet.
Jetstar is holding its fire at the moment too sticking to its AU$104/AU$131 price point for economy.
The aviation industry has a difficult road ahead when it comes to sustainability. It’s going to require a relative revolution in technology, with ‘electric planes’ or hydrogen planes, or some form of jet engine that doesn’t require a carbon based fuel. And that is going to require the development of an alternative to jet engines probably.
It’s a big ask. It will take time to develop.
This move to home grown and manufactured SAF is a first step – maybe even a baby step in a very long road of innovation. In the long run, US$200 million won’t even touch the sides.
We did predict this. With all the services basically on the same plane – Boeing 737-800’s the only differences will be price, service and frequency. Qantas will always doubtless win the frequency war. Yet to know about service, and it seems to be standing aloof on price so far.
Sit back, get out the binoculars, and watch this race to the bottom. We the travellers are likely to be the winners as borders open and flight frequency picks up and prices plunge.
See who will blink first in this capacity, frequency and fare price war.
What did you say?