Global Travel Market unveils Australia index is to launch its Flight Price Index in a bid to give consumers a fairer representation of the current climate for travel to Australia.

The service has been created by Global Travel Market, run by former-Quest Travel boss Dave Simmons, and follows the launch of the Australia travel search engine in February.

Consumers will be able to use the index to monitor international flights to Australia and obtain information on fares, trends and departure point information.

The first index, launched this week and expected to installed on the website shortly, revealed the cheapest flight to Australia so far in 2006 is to Sydney, priced £572, and available on Ebookers.

Travellers should also expect to pay 12% more for fares than those in London if they are travelling from Manchester, or 22% from Glasgow.

Simmons, who is chief executive of Global Travel Market, said: “There is general confusion amongst consumers as to how and when to get the best prices when booking flights to Australia.

“The Australia Travel Market Flight Price Index seeks to unravel this consumer confusion by monitoring flight prices that are presented on the Australia Travel Market site on a monthly basis.

“Where possible, the Flight Price Index will highlight opportunities for consumers to save money, by identifying either cheaper times of the year to travel, or different airports to travel from.”

The index suggests travellers wait until April before booking trips to Australia during 2007 as the leading carriers – Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Malaysian Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Thai Airways and Virgin – have yet to offer any discounts for early booking.

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