Travel

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Australia’s aviation sector appears to have recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic as passenger levels and capacity returned to pre-pandemic levels, the ACCC’s latest Domestic Airline Competition in Australia report reveals.  Australia’s major airlines—Bonza, Jetstar, Qantas, Rex and Virgin Australia —carried 4.9 million domestic passengers in March 2024, which represented 98.8 per cent of passenger figures in March…

Read More Airline Travel and Capacity Returns to Pre-Pandemic Levels

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CHOICE response to announcement Qantas has agreed to pay $120 million to settle ACCCenforcement action. Quotes attributable to Rosie Thomas, Director of Campaigns and Communications at CHOICE: “Qantas agreeing to pay $120 million dollars and admitting it misled consumers after ACCC court action is a significant result. The proposed settlement sends a very clear message…

Read More Compensation for Cancelled Flights Should be the Norm

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The Australian Travel Accreditation Scheme (ATAS) is an industry scheme that sets standards for signatory travel agencies and tour operators. ATAS is administered by the Australian Travel Industry Association (ATIA). Under ATAS, businesses maintain a complaint handling process that is easy and free to access. Where complaints are unresolved, they can be escalated to the…

Read More Non-Economic Loss Now Part of Travel Complaints Scheme

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Domestic airfares generally fell last year after reaching record highs in late-2022, but cancellations and delays remain higher than long-term industry averages, the ACCC’s latest Domestic Airline Competition in Australia report reveals.

The report shows that average revenue per passenger, which represents average prices across all fare types, was 13.4 per cent lower in December 2023 than in December 2022, in real (inflation-adjusted) terms.

Read More Airfares Cheaper But Cancellations and Delays Increased in 2023

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A lack of transparent pricing information caused a poor understanding by consumers of how prices were set. This was significantly worsened by a lack of competition. While market concentration was a major issue, the inquiry found prices in Australia are way higher than in many other less competitive markets.

Large price increases occurred across many sectors.

Read More Supermarkets, airlines and power companies are charging ‘exploitative’ prices despite reaping record profits

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A new survey of almost 9000 supporters from consumer group CHOICE has found 40% of respondents had a flight cancelled or delayed in the past 12 months. 

“As we head into the Christmas season, a huge number of people will be relying on flights to visit family and friends. Unfortunately, our survey of almost 9000 people from across the country has found consumers still face a number of difficulties when dealing with the aviation industry,” says CHOICE Senior Campaigns and Policy Advisor, Bea Sherwood.

Read More Consumer Groups Call for New Passenger Rights for Flyers as Delays and Cancellations Continue

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The Proposed Conduct relates to the cooperation between Virgin Australia and Air NZ on trans-Tasman services (on routes that Virgin Australia does not operate), including the ability for Virgin Australia to codeshare on Air NZ operated services which contain pricing provisions that may otherwise trigger the prohibition against resale price maintenance. Cooperation on commercial arrangements between Virgin Australia and Air NZ in relation to frequent flyer programs, lounge access, and joint corporate customer offers are conditional upon these codeshare arrangements.

Closing date for submissions on interim authorisation is 18 December 2023.

Read More Consultation on Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand Trans-Tasman Services

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Due to COVID-19, all Australian airports have recorded noticeable drops in their financial performances since 2018-2019 with Sydney and Melbourne airports by far the most negatively affected with both airports profit margins dropping by 48% in 2021-2022.
Unfortunately, the data airports are required to submit to the ACCC lack the detail necessary to determine if or how much their natural monopoly is being used – something both the ACCC and airlines have raised as concerns.

Read More Airport Finances Impacted by COVID-19

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The ACCC data shows Australian domestic airline market as a place dominated by Qantas and Virgin, with those two airlines accounting for over 90% of domestic airline travel over the past 3 years. Even with the launch of Bonza and the expansion of Rex to intercity flights, the duopoly of Qantas and Virgin is unlikely to be significantly impacted in the short-term.

Read More ACCC: Australian Domestic Airline Competition at Critical Juncture

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This is a media release from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. It was originally published on March 7th 2023 and can be found on the ACCC website here, with graphs. Domestic airfares have declined from historic highs at the end of 2022; however, they remain above 2019 prices, the ACCC’s latest Airline Competition in Australia…

Read More Domestic airfares fall but prices remain above pre-pandemic levels