As borders are set to reopen, the travel industry is preparing to spring back to life just in time for the peak summer period.
Millions of Aussie travelers should soon benefit from increased airline competition and cheaper fares, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Committee's (ACCC) latest report.
This comes as Rex Airlines announced Brisbane will be added to its intercity networks, meaning the airline will operate across Australia's five busiest routes: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast, and Adelaide.
With Qantas, Jetstar, and Virgin already offering flights to these destinations, this could put downward pressure on airfares according to the ACCC's report.
This is because following Rex's announcement, all three airlines reduced their cheapest fares on flights into the new year.
Additionally, low-cost leisure airline Bonza said it will commence flights from next year - another 'significant' development for the domestic airline industry.
Rod Sims, ACCC Chair, said this means millions of Australians will soon have a choice to travel with Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin, or Rex to Australia's busiest destinations.
"We have already seen some significant reductions in airfares as a result of the increasing competition on major intercity routes, and we expect there will be further downward pressure on prices as the airlines compete for passengers," Mr Sims said.
"With Bonza’s network plans, and Virgin, Jetstar and Qantas launching new direct regional links, consumers will benefit from greater choice, route connectivity and cheaper airfares."
As borders began reopening across the country, airlines have reported 'significant' spikes in ticket purchases.
This is backed by the latest Household Spending Intensions (HSI) data released by CommBank, which revealed that Travel spending intentions rose by 14.7% over the past month.
"COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on the airline industry, but there were positive signs that it was starting to recover as people booked long-awaited holidays," Mr Sims said.
"The airline industry will continue to face operational challenges from COVID-19, including the new variant Omicron and its potential impact on people’s ability and confidence to travel."
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