Virgin Australia CEO says 2021 will be cheapest year to fly yet

Finally some good news for Aussies who are keen to take a holiday.

Virgin Australia’s new CEO has made a very welcome forecast on the future of flight prices, predicting that passengers will be met with some of the cheapest deals seen in a long time in 2021.

Speaking at the CAPA Centre for Aviation online event on Wednesday, the newly appointed Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said during the aviation market rebuild, Australians should expect a string of competitive prices.

“It will have never have been cheaper to travel in this country,” Ms Hrdlicka said.

“But I think they should expect it’s going to be super competitive because we’re all rebuilding the market [after COVID-19].

Virgin CEO Jayne Hrdlicka says we will likely have the cheapest fares seen in a long time in 2021. Lyndon MechielsenSource:News Corp Australia

“Prices will be very sharp for a long time to ensure that everyone resettles in the marketplace in the way they intend.”

Last week at the Qantas Group’s market update, airline CEO Alan Joyce said he expected the airline to be back at 70 per cent pre-COVID domestic travel levels by Christmas, while Virgin Australia expected to be sitting at 60 per cent by January 2021.

Earlier this year, Mr Joyce said fares may sit around the $19 for some routes and aircraft head back to the skies.

Even cheaper fares are on the horizon, according Britta Campion / The AustralianSource:News Corp Australia

Speaking to media in March, he said flights from Melbourne to Sydney could be as cheap as $19, and even a Jetstar Perth to Sydney/Melbourne fare would be from $89 one-way on the other side of the coronavirus crisis.

In an open letter to travellers, staff and other stakeholders, the airline boss said “low fares” would be a key element of getting the industry moving again.

“Airfares could be half of what they are today,” he said.

“For example on Melbourne-Sydney you could see Jetstar fares of $39, you could see $19 airfares and we will still cover our cash costs.

“Airlines will be keen to stimulate travel demand to get their people and aircraft back to work and restart their cashflow pipelines, repairing the damage done by the devastating and sudden drop in revenue. That’s good news for consumers because it means plenty of good deals.”

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