Domestic Air Fares

BITRE Air Fares Survey

Since April 2020, there have been significant reductions to airline services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Valid fares are not available for many routes covered by the survey.

Given this, BITRE has decided to temporarily suspend the publication of the BITRE Airfare indexes but will continue to publish fares for select routes.

The cheapest fares by fare class are presented in sheet "Top10" for the Top 10 routes based on passenger volumes in 2019.

You can also select a route in cell D12 to see the data displayed in this sheet.

BITRE intends to continue to collect airfares data during this period, and will continue to publish fares for the top 10 routes (where available).

The figures reflect the available fares at the time the survey was conducted.

Domestic Discount Air Fares

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Domestic Air Fares (Business)

business fares

Domestic Air Fares (Restricted Economy)

restricted economy fares

Domestic Air Fares (Best Discount)

discount fares

Summary Table

Real Domestic Air Fare Index (July 2003=100)

Survey Month Business Restricted Economy Best Discount
Mar-19 91.1 102.6 60.9
Apr-19 84.5 102.7 75.8
May-19 83.7 102.2 56.2
Jun-19 83.5 103.0 64.7
Jul-19 82.9 102.3 60.7
Aug-19 72.1 102.1 58.1
Sep-19 83.4 102.7 68.3
Oct-19 82.8 101.1 61.4
Nov-19 81.9 100.8 63.5
Dec-19 81.0 102.1 88.5
Jan-20 81.7 100.5 61.3
Feb-20 79.1 101.4 62.2
Mar-20 81.6 101.8 83.5


Indexes are constructed from BITRE's monthly survey of airline internet booking sites. Fares are recorded only when they are available on the nominated day of travel (the last Thursday of the month). The series is a price index of the lowest available fare in each fare class, weighted over selected routes. It does not measure real airline yields, or average fares paid by passengers. For more information on methodology use the link at the top of this page.

Occasionally, the index may record an unusual result when the nominated day of travel falls on, or adjacent to, a public holiday:

  • The travel date fell on a public holiday in December 2014, January 2017, April 2019 and December 2019.
  • The travel date fell the day before a public holiday in December 2015 and March 2018.
  • The travel date fell the day after a public holiday in April 2018 and December 2018.
  • The return travel date fell the day before a public holiday in March 2017.

November 2017 change to Restricted Economy index: From November 2017, refunds of Jetstar's Restricted Economy products (Starter with Max) for cancellations are only available in the form of vouchers. Vouchers may only be redeemed for other Jetstar products and are therefore considered by BITRE to be closer to a transfer than a full refund. This change in Jetstar's product places it outside BITRE's definition of a restricted economy fare, which has resulted in a sharp increase in the restricted economy index for November 2017.

March 2015 - the Full Economy index is discontinued: From the middle of February 2015, Qantas Airways ceased offering Full Economy fares for domestic travel. It is no longer possible to produce an index for this fare category. In the future, if Full Economy fares are offered on sufficient routes, the index for this fare category could be reinstated.

December 2011 and January 2012 changes to Business and Full Economy indexes: Both the Business and Full Economy indexes were substantially affected by changes to fare offered. In December 2011 the Business index fell substantially mainly due to reductions in many of these fares by Qantas. This index again dropped significantly in January 2012 as Virgin Australia introduced Business class fares on many more of their routes. With the expansion of Virgin Australia's Business class fares they removed their Premium Economy class fare completely. The removal of these fares resulted in the Full Economy index rising substantially in January 2012.

June 2011 change to Restricted Economy index: In June 2011 both Virgin Australia and Jetstar introduced simplified fare structures. The new fare types used in constructing the indexes are shown on the Methodology page. The major impact of this change was to the Restricted Economy index. The new Virgin Australia fares used for this category (Flexi) were substantially lower than the previously used Virgin fares (Flexible). In a competitive response Qantas also reduced its Flexi Saver fares on competing routes. These changes produced a sharp drop in the Restricted Economy index.

February 2008 change to Full Economy index: Prior to February 2008 the Full Economy Fare category was based solely on the Qantas Fully Flexible Fare. From February 2008 on the category was expanded to include Virgin Blue's Corporate Plus Fare, leading to a drop in the index at the point of changeover.

Consumer price index Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Catalogue No 6401.0