Skip to main content

New data from Flight Centre Corporate’s FCM Travel and Corporate Traveller has  revealed global and domestic air capacity have reached pre-pandemic levels for the first time, and  international airfares out of Australia have seen a drop as a result.  

“As of this month, and for the first time since the pandemic, we have reached aircraft passenger seat  capacity that is above or beyond pre-pandemic levels globally. This means that across the world we  have as many seats available to passengers as we did before 2019,” said Flight Centre Corporate  Global COO Melissa Elf.  

“We’re seeing this directly correlate to decreasing airfares, which is great news for our corporate  travellers, who rely on travel to keep their businesses ticking, and win new work.”  

“An analysis of key international routes for Australian travellers has found fares on some routes  dropped by up to 25 per cent, and with more and more capacity and competition being introduced  to the market it’s a trend we’ll continue to see throughout the rest of the year.  

“The Global Business Travel Association predicted a growth in business travel of 27 per cent in 2023  in Australia. It has also revealed that in 2024 for ever USD1 spent on business travel, a business  would see a USD145 return in sales.  

“We still have some countries that are lagging in their international and domestic capacity, but some  that have come back stronger than ever before. It’s evident in the data that the airlines and airports  with the highest levels of capacity are seeing the best rates for passengers.  

“Australia’s international capacity is currently at 95 per cent, so we’d like to see this continue to  increase. We are anticipating that to tick up to 98 per cent next month, and hover around that mark  for the next six months.  

“It will also vary depending on the port of departure – for example, international seat capacity out of  Perth is at 111 per cent, and Sydney is nearing full capacity at 97 per cent.  

“We’re seeing promising signs that this will be a long lasting trend, thanks to new international  capacity announcements like recent ones from Delta Airlines, Singapore Airlines, China Southern and Jetstar.  

“It’s certainly a complex landscape, and this data shows us just how critical it is to have a travel  management company on your side that can find you the best deal across a multitude of airlines,  lock in the most convenient route, advise on the best time to travel and maximise travel benefits.  

Fare and capacity breakdown over page 

Average fare in  Q1 2024,  

outbound from  Australia

Average fare in  Q1 2023,  

outbound from  Australia


change in fare in  Q1 2024  

compared to Q1  2023

Current seat  

capacity from  


compared to pre pandemic  


Japan  $1,560  $1,982  -21%  130%
Qatar  $1,888  $2,519  -25%  109%
Papua New  


$1,068  $925  +15%*  102%
United Kingdom  $2,220  $2,709  -18%  100%
Singapore  $1,330  $1,567  -15%  96%
New Zealand  $901  $1,176  -23%  88%
United Arab  


$1,861  $2,406  -22%  84%
China  $1,393  $1,673  -17%  81%
United States of  America  $1,958  $2,484  -21%  70%
Hong Kong  $2,186  $1,880  +16%  63%

Data attributed to FCM Travel and Corporate Traveller.  

*Papua New Guinea has nearly doubled its seat capacity since June 2023. It reached 100 per cent capacity as of March 2023. Over the next six months we are expecting to see fares soften.