AUSTRALIAN travellers to Europe are looking at another season of competitive fares if 2018 “early bird” sales from two big full-service players are any indication.
Dubai-based Emirates and Singapore Airlines are both offering return economy fares between Australia and Europe for less than $1400 on select dates next year.
A high level of competition on many Australian international routes, including from low-cost and Chinese carriers, has kept fares low for a number of years.
International airfares to and from Australia fell by about 8 per cent in real terms in 2016, although there have been signs the downward trend is facing headwinds.
The latest deals saw Singapore Airlines, facing renewed competition to London from Qantas in its Changi hub next March, start the ball rolling.
Singapore is offering return economy fares to the UK capital of $A1252 from Sydney, $1237 from Melbourne, $1254 from Brisbane and $A1182 from Perth.
Sydneysiders can get to Paris and back on Singapore for $1187 and the deal can include a Singapore stopover holiday from $1. Perth travellers can say “bonjour” to the French capital or $1118 return while a similar ticket will set Melburnians back $1173.
Canberrans pay a tad more to go through their relatively new connection via Singapore at $1296 return to London and $1232 to Paris.
There some blackout periods during peak travel times, but deal applies to travel from mid-February 2018 to the end of August.
Those wanting more comfort can upgrade to Singapore’s premium economy for $A3252, or business class for $A6452 ex Sydney
Emirates is also offering deals to European destinations such as London, Zagreb and Dublin and Barcelona.
Economy Class fares for travellers from Australia’s East Coast start from $A1,319 to Dublin, $A1,329 to Barcelona, $QA1,339 to Zagreb and $1,379 to London.
Business Class fares start from $A6,959 to Dublin, $A6,969 to Barcelona, $6A,979 to Zagreb and $A6,999 to London.
The Gulf carrier is upgrading its capacity to Australia with a third daily Dubai-Brisbane flight launching December 1 using a Boeing 777-200LR and a move to all Airbus A380 services to Melbourne from March 25.
The Emirates fares are for travel between March 1 and September 30, with blackout dates for economy class.
The Emirates sale extends to October 4 while Singapore Airlines’ offer is for tickets booked until September 24.