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QANTAS will increase international airfares by up 5 per cent this week, offering further evidence that the recent run of exceptionally cheap air fares is ending.

In its first international fare increase since June last year, Qantas will raise first-class and business-class fares by 3 per cent on Friday. The increases will affect popular routes such as Britain, Europe, Singapore and Hong Kong but not the hotly contested routes to the US, reports The Australian.

Premium economy and economy tickets will rise by 5 per cent, reflecting the relative strength of the leisure markets as travellers responded to the cheaper airfares and a high Australian dollar. These increases apply to wider range of destinations that include North America.

“Qantas reviews pricing continuously on all routes, taking into account demand and capacity, competitor actions and business performance,” a Qantas spokeswoman said.

Qantas has already been successful in raising domestic airfares by 5-10 per cent and desperately needs to get international fares up to improve yields, which in October were 24 per cent down on the previous year.

Qantas will test the water to see whether the increases affect passenger loads and whether competitors match them.

But even if the new fares stick, increased competition and continuing market softness is unlikely to see ticket prices return to previous high levels any time soon.

Read the full report in The Australian.

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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