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Australian regulator calls on airlines to cut domestic airfares

Canberra, March 9 (IANS) The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has called on airlines to cut domestic airfares, as consumers are still paying prices above pre-Covid levels.

The ACCC released its latest “Airline Competition in Australia” report, which showed that domestic airfares have declined from their historic highs at the end of 2022, but the average revenue per passenger remains 13 per cent higher in real terms than it was in 2019, reports Xinhua news agency.

According to the report, the price index for discounted tickets was 25 per cent higher in February 2023 than the same month pre-pandemic, and that for some routes continues to be significantly higher compared to pre-pandemic.

Over the period, the cheapest return fares for Coffs Harbour to Sydney almost tripled to A$338 ($223).

Many flight prices to and from Adelaide, capital city of South Australia, were doubled or almost doubled, said the report.

ACCC Commissioner Anna Brakey noted that the airfares reduction is typically due to a seasonal drop in demand, as well as an increase in seat capacity by airlines.

The ACCC report also noted that the price of jet fuel has fallen by 35 per cent in February 2023 since a record high in June 2022, which should result in cheaper airfares.

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