If you need a domestic flight Australia has a number of airlines that are competing against each other as well as various regional airlines.
Qantas, the flying Kangaroo, is the established Australian carrier with the greatest market share. It was founded in 1920 and was part of the pioneering days of aviation passenger travel and air mail services.
It is the preferred option for many business travellers. Service is good - you still get food and drink and a paper as part of your ticket, whereas you need to purchase these on the plane with the other airlines.
Qantas air travel is how flying ‘used to be’ – even the coffee is more expensive in the Qantas terminal than in the neighbouring Virgin one. This does not mean that Qantas flights are extra expensive. They often have cheaper fares as well.
Richard Branson started Virgin Blue Airlines in Australia in 2000. It was the unconventional carrier that operated out of a ‘shed’ in Sydney and Brisbane but then took over the terminals of the failing carrier Ansett in 2001.
It has become Australia’s second largest airline and flies to every major Australian destination. It has succeeded through its ability to offer low cost flights and its unconventional approach. Virgin Blue has replaced the formality of airline travel with humour and a relaxed attitude, which I find enjoyable.
Jetstar is a subsidiary of Qantas and was created in 2003 as a response to the threat of the low cost fares from Virgin Blue. It is able to offer some of the cheapest fares in and out of Melbourne.
Their base is at Avalon airport, which reduces their operating costs. If you don’t mind the extra travel to Avalon, you can get even cheaper tickets with Jetstar. Some of their flights also depart and arrive out of Tullamarine. Furthermore, if you travel lightly and don’t check in any luggage with Jetstar , you get further discount.
Tiger Airways is the newest arrival on the market for a domestic flight Australia has on offer. It is a low cost airline associated with Singapore Airlines that has commenced services in Australia in late 2007.
This has caused a price war, particularly with Jetstar, resulting in ridiculously low fares available across the board.
Tiger Airways fly to every main city except Sydney and have been offering some outrageously low fares. It isn't really a pleasant experience flying with Tiger - and there have been some safety concerns. But if money is an issue, it might work for you.
You can book tickets directly with the airlines. Internet bookings are usually discounted. You will get an e-ticket with self-check in options at most airports.
You can also get special deals and great tickets through a discount price agent online, which has the advantage of saving you the trouble of shopping around. Check prices here:
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