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Aussie travellers can now get adult return flights to the US for less than $900 return to the US as airfare competition on the Australia-US route heats up with some of the best prices the industry has seen.
The price war sparked by American Airlines' entry into what is already one of the most popular routes for Aussie travellers has put pressure on rival airlines on the route, including Delta, United Airlines and Virgin, to remain price competitive.
The cheapest adult airfare to the US at the moment is priced from $875 per person return to Los Angeles from Sydney, $879 from Brisbane and $895 from Melbourne flying Virgin Australia through Escape Travel (prices confirmed on Tuesday 1 December).
The prices are on sale until 6 December and for travel in dates over January to March next year and are only available when booking in conjunction with four night's accommodation.
For those under the under the age of 26 who missed out on the $699 Student Flights' fare to San Francisco return when booked with four nights accommodation (ended on Monday 30 November) as reported on News.com.au, Student Flights' has a new deal - fly from Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne to Las Vegas with Virgin from $899 when booked in conjunction with four nights accommodation, exclusive through Student Flights. It might be $200 more but is the cheapest offer around for youth airfare prices (prices confirmed on Tuesday 1 December).
Airfare prices are expected to remain competitive over the next 12 months. Flight Centre head of leisure travel, Tom Walley said "that the competition between airlines is set to remain strong" going ahead and travellers can expect to benefit from additional sale fares as airlines attempt to lure customers.
"Return airfares to Los Angeles are among the lowest they've been in quite some time and the behaviour of airlines is that when one introduces a sale price, the others will shortly follow to keep passengers in seats," he said.
"This is driven by the increased competition with airlines releasing sale pricing to attract customers which is quickly matched or beaten by their competitor. Much of the price competition is between those carriers that fly in-direct to the US and therefore release low fares to compete with the airlines that offer a direct flight."
Flight Centre confirmed that airfare pricing for flights to the US has decreased in the last three months. It reported a 1.9 per cent increase in airfare bookings to the US in this financial year.
The best airfare prices can still be found on non-peak season travel times, which excludes Christmas and school holiday periods.
A report by Expedia.com.au released today names the US as the number one international bucketlist destination for Australians. The State of the Nation report also shows that more and more Aussies are ticking things off their bucket list. It reveals 92 per cent of Aussies have crossed at least one experience of their list – an increase on 2014 result of 87 per cent.
Expedia.com.au managing director Georg Ruebensal believes the price war on airfares to the US could continue in 2016.
"A lot of airlines have recently announced increases in capacity for non-stop flights, like Qantas and American Airlines. This, combined with Asian airlines increasingly utilising international gateways, like Tokyo and Shanghai, could lead to a surplus of seats that need to be filled," Ruebensal said.
American Airlines will begin its daily Sydney-Los Angeles flights with its flagship Boeing 777-300ER from mid-December and Qantas to start six weekly Boeing 747 flights from Sydney to San Francisco as part of the airlines five-year trans-Pacific alliance.
The best adult return economy flights on Flight Centre
BNE-LAX with Qantas - $972 per person
BNE-LAX with Fiji Air - $936 per person
SYD-SFO with Qantas - $1091 per person
SYD-SFO with Air New Zealand - $999 per person
SYD-LAX with Virgin - $972 per person
MEL-LAX with Qantas - $999 per person
MEL-LAX with Air New Zealand - $1009 per person
Youth airfares under age 26 available through Student Flights
BNE-LAX with Virgin - $884 per person
SYD-LAX with Virgin - $879 per person
MEL-LAX with Virgin - $913 per person
SYD-NYC with Virgin - $1086 per person
BNE-NYC with Virgin - $1089 per person
MEL-NYC with Virgin - $1119 per person