Flying to Perth? Watch out for these airfare hikes

The average ticket price for flights to Perth have jumped by five per cent year-on-year from almost all major Aussie cities, according to new research.

The consulting division of Carlson Wagonlit Travel and CAPA – Centre for Aviation, CWT Solutions Group, has identified the price hike in its latest stint of research.

At the same time, passenger numbers for Perth are slightly decreasing year-on-year (-0.9 per cent 2016 versus 2015), while available seats have decreased at a faster rate (-2.8 per cent on the same period).

As a result, there is a future risk for constrained capacity if available seats continue to decrease at a greater pace than passenger numbers.

CAPA and CWT Solutions Group’s newest Business Travel Pulse report, which for this edition focuses on the Australian city of Perth, brings together key aviation and hotel data from both organisations to deliver informed opinion and in-depth analysis.

“Perth is at a very interesting and probably pivotal stage in its aviation and tourism development,” said CAPA Executive Chairman, Peter Harbison.

“Internationally it is proportionately the best connected city in Australia. As the shape of mining-related travel changes and stabilises, the need to generate a renewed impetus for leisure and corporate travel becomes essential.

“With a whole new halo around the forthcoming Qantas non-stop service and the redevelopment of Perth Airport, there is tremendous scope for promoting new opportunities.”

The report also reveals that hotel occupancy rates in Perth for the year ending May 2017 have increased by two per cent, reaching 80.6 per cent, despite a last room available rate decrease of five per cent.

“Perth has a strong pipeline of new properties opening over the next year and a half, despite the market looking relatively unstable and delicate with softening demand,” said Richard Johnson, Director, Asia Pacific, CWT Solutions Group.

“Given the abundant room inventory available, companies should consider adding more hotels to the RFP process for their corporate hotel programs and lock in the most competitive rates.”

The industry remains optimistic that Perth will improve into 2018. The introduction of new services, in particular Qantas Airways’ launch of the direct Perth-London (Heathrow) route, utilising Boeing 787-9 aircraft in Mar-2018, will be the catalyst for this improvement.

“Qantas’ direct Perth-London flight has the potential to be a game-changer. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a good number of passengers currently transiting through Asia or the Middle East switching over to this route.,” said Johnson.

“Being able to make a domestic stopover could see layover times in Perth for both inbound and outbound travelers increase. This could stimulate the local economy and could be a shot in the arm for Perth’s accommodation sector, too.”

Recently, Tigerair Australia commenced four-times-weekly Perth-Brisbane services, Batik Air commenced twice-daily Perth-Denpasar services, while China Eastern is reviewing the possibility of launching daily Perth-Shanghai services.

With the added potential for direct services from Japan to link the many Japanese company interests in Perth, the outlook is pretty schmick.