Domestic Air Fare Indexes


graph of Domestic air fares (business)  graph of Domestic air fares (restricted economy) graph of Domestic air fares (best discount) 

Summary Table

Real Domestic Air Fare Index (July 2003=100)

Survey MonthBusinessRestricted EconomyBest Discount
Dec 2016 96.9 81.2 84.4
Jan 2017 94.2 79.3 58.9
Feb 2017 94.3 79.7 59.6
Mar 2017 95.4 80.4 81.7
Apr 2017 93.9 80.2 59.7
May 2017 96.1 80.3 64.7
Jun 2017 95.2 80.9 61.5
Jul 2017 94.6 81.9 59.7
Aug 2017 92.4 83.2 54.5
Sep 2017 95.0 83.4 70.9
Oct 2017 94.5 82.9 63.7
Nov 2017 94.7 55.8 62.8
Dec 2017 94.2 77.3 85.0


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 April 2013, December 2013, December 2014 and January 2017.
  • The travel date fell the day before a public holiday in March 2013, April 2014 and December 2015.
  • The travel date fell the day after a public holiday in December 2012.
  • The return travel date fell the day before a public holiday in March 2017.

November 2017 change to Restricted Economy index: In November 2017, the Real Restricted Economy index decreased 30 per cent compared to November 2016 and 32.6 per cent compared to October 2017. The main contributor to this decrease was a sharp fall in Jetstar fares, coinciding with changes to the fare restrictions on their Starter fare with Max product. Refunds for cancellations are now in Jetstar vouchers rather than cash and the change deadline has moved forward.

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