Airlines servicing some routes into Australia – such as from London or New York – may be hiking prices even higher than first thought.
After Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Friday that Australia will temporarily reduce its intake of international passengers by 50 per cent from July 14 from 6000 per week to just 3000, some carriers were quick to bump up fares significantly.
A recent search on flights from London to Sydney on popular booking platform Webjet, showed ticket prices across the month of July jumped from as little as $5229 for one-way ticket in economy, to $36,499 just days later on July 14.
The cost of a family of four to return home from New York to Sydney.Source:Supplied
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But one Aussie says flights from the US could be even more expensive – after being shocked at the price to get home from overseas.
Speaking to nine.com.au, 41-year-old Dave said some flight fare prices were “mind blowing” – especially given he could fly to the Dominican Republic or Paris, but not back home.
“The rest of the world is moving on and Australia is being left behind,” he said.
“I understand the Australian government is trying to do the right thing. I want to see my family. But cutting the numbers by 50 per cent makes the airfares unrealistic.”
Dave said he was shocked to see prices above $70,000 when he Googled flights back to Australia recently, and that the federal government should be assisting Australians trying to get home.
“The way the Australian government is handling it is completely insane,” he said.
“They’re just going to keep going into lockdown anytime a few people catch the virus. It’s completely unrealistic.”
During a search on Google on 7 July, back to Australia from New York for a family of four will set passengers back more than $80,000 throughout the month of July.
The increase appears to escalate after the incoming passenger cap slash comes into place.
Individual flights are a little cheaper on certain days.Source:Supplied
The Morrison government announced a reduction of inbound passengers in response to Australia’s current battle against the highly contagious Delta variant of Covid-19. The decision to slash the number of incoming passengers was also a welcome move form state leaders in alleviating the pressure on quarantine facilities around the country.
The passenger cap change will come as a big hit to around 34,000 Australians still waiting to return home from overseas, with some concerned the reduced intake will only force prices to jump higher to unaffordable figures.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has since warned airlines they should not use the new passenger limits as a way of cashing in on those desperate to return home.
“I hope there is nobody who seeks a commercial advantage from difficult circumstances and that’s a strong, clear message,” he said on Saturday.
Mr Hunt said the federal government will be looking to initially use the “additional capacity” on repatriation flights to bring Australians stranded overseas home.
Mr Hunt said the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is assessing how many extra flights will need to be arranged by the federal government.
“There will be a decrease in commercial arrivals but an increase in what are called facilitated arrivals to Howard Springs in the Northern Territory,” he said.
“Some of those flights have been under-subscribed in recent weeks so there is that capacity to bring additional Australians home via Howard Springs.”
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