Aviation, tourism and energy writer for the Business Herald

Revealed: The cheapest time to fly to Australia

Air fare analysis has revealed November is the cheapest time to fly across the Tasman.

The study by global travel search engine Skyscanner compared the average return prices paid for flights to Australia this November, against the average prices of the same flights paid in the first eight months of 2016 and found savings of up to 19 per cent.

Travellers from Auckland to resort destination Hamilton Island in November paid on average $658 compared to and average of $814 for the rest of the year.

Flights to Sydney are 9 per cent cheaper in November ($395) than during the rest of the year, and travellers save 6 per cent to Melbourne where flights fall to $436 in November.

Flying from Christchurch to Sydney is 15 per cent cheaper in November - down to $380 - and the Gold Coast from the South Island city falls 16 per cent to $416.

Emily Callahan, senior marketing manager at Skyscanner for Australia and New Zealand, said Australia was the number one destination for Kiwis. November was before the busy Christmas and summer season.

"Summer is just about to begin and many airlines will latch on to that fact," she said.

She said the most expensive month to travel is December where flights are on average 15 per cent more expensive compared to the average price paid.

Skyscanner also released data on what booking lead time resulted in the best bargains.

"Through our analysis we've also uncovered what are the cheapest lead times where Kiwis can save up to 15 per cent on international flight fares if they book in advance. On average, the cheapest lead time to book flights is about 29 weeks in advance, but this will differ according to destination," said Callahan.

Based on flights analysed over three years, she said Kiwis going to Australia should look to book at least on average 26 weeks in advance to get a good deal.

Summer is just about to begin and many airlines will latch on to that fact.

Travellers should sign up to price alerts so that they are informed on when the fare changes and book when the price is right.

"This is because flight prices constantly change, and is largely dependent on the route, airline capacity and flights available so there will never be one date where it can be guaranteed that flight prices will be at their cheapest," said Callahan.

Skyscanner analysed thousands of transtasman routes linking hundreds of airport pairs.

- NZ Herald

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