Low domestic airfares still abundant

FlightChoice has found discount airfares are still available in substantial numbers – even during the July school holidays – despite reduced competition resulting from the demise of discount operator Impulse Airlines.

In a detailed analysis airfare availability, InfoChoice has found that it is possible to secure $66 and $88 one-way fares on hundreds of flights with the three main domestic airlines in July on the major routes Sydney-Melbourne, Melbourne-Brisbane and Sydney-Gold Coast.

There is surprisingly high availability on Qantas, Ansett and Virgin Blue despite school holidays falling in July in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.

Now, in mid-June, there are more than 180 flights with seats available at these low fares between Sydney and Melbourne on Qantas and Ansett for travel on most days in July.

Melbourne-Brisbane has over 150 flights available from Ansett, Qantas and Virgin Blue while the holiday route Sydney-Gold Coast shows availability of over 160 flights among these three airlines.

Of course, to secure the lowest fares passengers have to be prepared to travel at less popular times of the day and buy their tickets over the internet.

We have found that Wednesday is the best day to secure a discount fare, with Tuesday and Thursday also good prospects. Flights departing around 6am, 1pm, 2pm, 8.30pm and 10.30pm are the best times of the day.

However, many travellers don't realise many discount tickets are still available. While Virgin advertises its lowest internet fares widely, Qantas and Ansett don't yet publicise their web-only fares outside their websites, despite savings of up to 50% available on their lowest widely advertised fares.

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