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Most affordable countries and trends for Australians

May 8, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Fares to the Asia Pacific region are 12% cheaper year-on-year, and even though Indonesia retains its number-one ranking across both popularity and cost, other destinations are coming up fast and breathing down Bali’s neck, a new survey has revealed.

The findings emerged from results of the second annual Cheapflights Compass, conducted by and released yesterday. The survey analysed over 13.5 million searches – almost eight years’ collective search time per month.

To Indonesia, an average return airfare is just AUD 528 (a decrease of approximately AUD 60 from last year) and one in 10 (14%) Aussie flight searches in the region were to Bali.

How airfares vary by month


While India (13% of searches), Thailand (11%) and China (10%) are hot on Indonesia’s heels for the popularity prize, Malaysia, Singapore and Fiji are the next most affordable countries – knocking last year’s place-getters, Thailand and Philippines, out to fifth and 11th places respectively. The current average airfares, according to the Cheapflights survey, are Malaysia (AUD 550), Singapore (AUD 556) and Fiji (AUD 634).

French Polynesia, home to Tahiti and Bora Bora’s overwater bungalows, is the region’s most expensive destination at AUD 2316. New Caledonia is more than three times cheaper at AUD 746 return.

“Our research also revealed some amazing opportunities for savvy locals to save while exploring both easy-to-reach and culturally rich destinations,” Nathan Graham, regional sales manager at Cheapflights Australia and New Zealand, commented.

“For example, flying to Ho Chi Minh City instead of Hanoi in Vietnam can save AUD 132 on average, and skipping French Polynesia (AUD 2316) to head to New Caledonia could mean an extra AUD 1500 in spending.

“With flights around 12% cheaper on average this year, we estimate that Aussies could save up to a quarter of a billion dollars on their travels in 2017 if they search smartly,” Graham said. 

Searching closer to home, the report also revealed:

  • Trans-Tasman remains one of the most travelled routes with the major cities being both popular and affordable – average return airfares costing less than AUD 430.
  • Melbourne is the most popular domestic destination, ahead of Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, confirming that Aussies love good food, coffee and culture.
  • Melbourne and Sydney are also the most affordable cities (both under AUD 260), but swapping Brisbane for the Gold Coast could save AUD 44 per person.

Nathan Graham at Cheapflights Compass launch in Sydney on Wednesday

Other points revealed

Top 10 Most Affordable Countries 

  1. Indonesia AUD 528
  2. Malaysia AUD 550
  3. Singapore AUD 556
  4. Fiji AUD 634
  5. Thailand AUD 660
  6. Vanuatu AUD 686
  7. Hong Kong AUD 727
  8. China AUD 730
  9. Vietnam AUD 735
  10. New Caledonia AUD 746 

Top 10 Most Affordable Airports 

  1. Denpasar-Bali AUD 516
  2. Singapore AUD 552
  3. Kuala Lumpur AUD 547
  4. Nadi AUD 619
  5. Phuket AUD 641
  6. Bangkok AUD 643
  7. Jakarta AUD 660
  8. Ho Chi Minh City AUD 704
  9. Guangzhou AUD 709
  10. Hong Kong AUD 720

Written by Peter Needham

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