Fall in airfares from Singapore to key destinations this year

Travellers on flights from Singapore to popular destinations such as Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai and New York enjoyed lower fares in the first nine months of this year - with prices falling by more than 5 per cent year on year.

But the low prices are not expected to last. The discounts, though, did not extend to all markets, with some fare increases on flights to Haneda, Japan, London and San Francisco.

The findings - from a study by CWT Solutions Group, the consulting division of Carlson Wagonlit Travel, and industry consultancy Centre for Aviation - looked at published fares from January to September this year.

The fare adjustments are a response to demand and supply patterns that can move when airlines add new flights or cut back on capacity.

Last year, passenger traffic at Changi Airport grew by 5.9 per cent, while the number of seats increased by 3.9 per cent.

"Singapore remains one of the most competitive aviation markets in the world and this, along with lower oil prices, has pushed airfares down over the past year," said Mr Richard Johnson, director, Asia Pacific, CWT Solutions Group.

"The new terminal (T4) at Changi Airport will further alleviate capacity pressures, theoretically allowing for more competition and creating further downward pressure on fares."

Mr Johnson added: "That said, we do expect to see an increase in average ticket prices over the next year as oil prices creep back up and airlines begin to rationalise capacity."

The Centre for Aviation's executive chairman Peter Harbison said: "Competition within Asia - and especially South-east Asia - is generally more intense than many other markets; but even in this region, a combination of high traffic growth, cost discipline and more sophisticated revenue management is allowing solid profits for efficient airlines."