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Post-virus bargains: Flight cut from $499 to $165

Virgin Australia and Qantas planes seen together on tarmac on the left, and travellers with masks on at an airport on the right.

The last three months have been tough for the aviation industry, with both international and domestic travel severely restricted to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Even though many states closed their borders during the lockdown period, both Qantas and Virgin Australia maintained a minimal schedule of domestic flights to cater for those who still had to travel – such as medical workers and politicians.

With a skeleton operation and no economies of scale, seats were not cheap.

But now as travel restrictions start lifting around the country, more flights have been scheduled for the coming weeks and domestic prices are tumbling.

Yahoo Finance researched flights with various dates and cities, and found some surprising bargains.

Flights between Brisbane and Sydney seem to show the most dramatic price drop on both airlines:

  • Brisbane to Sydney on Virgin Australia: $499 on June 11, dropped to $165 on July 10

  • Brisbane to Sydney on Qantas: $438 on June 11, dropped to $140 on July 11

Melbourne to Canberra on Qantas is selling for $413 to travel this week, but that's tumbled almost 50 per cent to $217 by July 17.

Flights between the Gold Coast and Sydney on Virgin are $255 on June 10, but that's been slashed to $99 only two weeks down the track on June 24.

Travellers out west don't miss out either, with the Perth to Adelaide flight on June 10 priced at $294, but dropping to $199 by the time August rolls around.

Darwin to Brisbane is selling for $393 on June 11, but is $325 by July 2.

Some states, like Victoria and NSW, have been keen for interstate travel to begin to kick-start the national economy. While others, most famously Queensland, have been more shy about opening up.

If you're willing to take on the risk that a second surge of the coronavirus may or may not happen and the states may relax or tighten restrictions, there are some bargain holidays to be enjoyed. 

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