Australian travellers are saving thousands of dollars on United Kingdom holidays this year, thanks to record low airfares and the weaker British pound.
Flight Centre Travel Group managing director Graham Turner said the two factors had combined to deliver the best value UK holidays in recent memory.
“Twelve months ago, our cheapest return fare from Sydney to London cost $1,324,” Mr Turner said.
“Today, it's almost 25 per cent cheaper at $1,009 – a saving of $315 – as a result of the unprecedented discounting we have seen on international airfares,” he said.
“In addition, the weakness in the British pound since last year's Brexit referendum means that the holiday budget now extends considerably further when you exchange Australian dollars for pounds.
“At current exchange rates, a traveller taking 5000 pounds in spending money only needs to exchange $A8,065, compared with $A9,490 this time last year.
“Together with the airfare saving, this means that the hypothetical Aussie traveller is about $1,740 better off, compared with 12 months ago.
“Effectively, travellers taking off to London this year are pocketing more than the cost of their flights in savings.”
Mr Turner said the airfare discounting, which has seen the cheapest advertised return fares from Sydney to Paris or Rome fall below $1,000, had contributed to a resurgence in European bookings this year.
In the past week, Flight Centre has also offered one-way flights from Perth to Athens and from Sydney to Athens with Scoot from $339 and from $399 respectively.
“Based on what we have seen in-store and at our Travel Expos throughout Australia in recent weeks, Europe looks set to have a busy year,” Mr Turner said.
“Travellers are capitalising on the incredible deals that are currently available, which is a sensible approach given that it's impossible to predict how long the good times will last.
“The discounting we have seen in recent months has again highlighted the trend of airfares becoming more affordable and accessible to everyone.
“For example, the first return flight to London almost 70 years ago cost the average worker about 85 weeks' pay.
“Fast forward to today and a typical fare to London costs the average worker less than one week's pay.”