Passengers board a Qantas Airways Boeing 737-800 plane from the tarmac of the Coolangatta Airport, also called Gold Coast Airport, in this picture taken October 25, 2014. Reuters/David Gray

Qantas Airways Limited has announced it would increase its fares by up to 4 percent by the end of October, depending on the route and cabin of a flight. This would result in an increase in return fares between AU$20 and AU$200 for customers buying business class tickets and between AU$10 to AU$40 for economy passengers.

“Airfares today are incredibly good value and are below pre-GFC levels. International airfares continue to be thirty 30 per cent cheaper than they were a decade ago,’’ a Qantas spokeswoman was quoted as saying by The Australian. “We consider a range of factors when setting fare levels, including overall market conditions, demand and capacity and offer a range of competitive fares while continuing to represent excellent value for our customers.’’

The news comes after Qantas’ international business recorded high profits in their last financial year, while the airways also decided to ramp up its revenue by scheduling more daily flights. Domestic fares have also been rising, with Qantas and Virgin Australia involved in increasing their market capacity by adding more seats.

In addition, Qantas will launch new flights to San Francisco, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Bali, leading to another hike of up to six percent by the end of year.

Although the company has recorded a slight decline in return on fares, which it plans to make up by filling a higher percentage of seats, some analysts predict that Qantas' underlying earnings could increase by as much as AU$1.69 billion this financial year, reported the Sydney Morning Herald.

This fare hike would be applicable on joint Qantas-Emirates routes as well as routes to Korea, Taiwan, Papua New Guinea, South Africa, South America, The Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, China, New Caledonia and Hawaii.

Meanwhile, Qantas flights to North America would be exempted from this hike as competition within trans-pacific alliances continues to escalate. It has also announced to expand partnership with Alaska Airlines, West Jet and American Airlines in an attempt to add 40 more North American routes.

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