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Discount airlines in Australasia

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Discount airlines in Australasia

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This is one of several Wikitravel articles about Discount airlines.

Finding Discount airlines in Australasia may prove both easy and difficult at the same time! Many years of deregulation in the New Zealand airline market and collapse of the Australian duopoly following the demise of Ansett has seen such cut-throat competition on some routes that only the airlines offering discount have survived. Apart from primarily scenic flights in light aircraft, all major carriers offer discounts on their seats on most routes. Some carriers specialise in providing low cost, no frills, travel between tourist and other destinations.

See the information on each countries page -- Australia, New Zealand and New Guinea -- for coverage of airlines in Australasia (including the discount ones).


The Australasian airline market is noted for its competition and has seen the collapse of a number of airlines. Perhaps the most spectacular was that of Ansett, which nearly caused the collapse of its owner, Air New Zealand. Since then Air New Zealand has reworked itself as a discount airline on domestic and short haul international routes, while Virgin Blue has taken on the dominant carrier, Qantas, in Australia, and also started a Trans-Tasman service ('Pacific Blue'). As a consequence, there is no one airline that provides a clear discount over any other. Travelers will need to shop around and may find they need to use two, or more, airlines to get the best deals.

Price comparison tools, including Adioso and I Want That Flight, are handy for finding the best flights between locations in Australia.


In November 2006, Jetstar International started long-haul flights from Australia to various points in Asia, including Bangkok and Phuket in Thailand, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam) and Osaka in Japan. Booking are being accepted now. On 27 December 2006 Jetstar commenced flying to Hawaii.

Tiger Airways is a Singapore carrier [1] and now operates out of Australia from Darwin and Perth (with designated connections to other Australian capital cities), and the prices are cheap. Problem is, exit taxes and fees leaving Australia add about A$160.00 to most fares.

Air Asia started operating flights in late 2007 between Gold Coast and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, with Melbourne (Avalon Airport) set to commence in 2008.

Virgin Blue are aiming to set up cross-Pacific flights using a new airline named V Australia in late 2008.

Domestic Short Haul

Tiger Airways announced new domestic routes from Melbourne [2]

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