Sponsor Message:
Travel Polls & Prefs Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Flights In South America- Why So Expensive?  
User currently offlinesomething From United Kingdom, joined May 2011, 1633 posts, RR: 21
Posted (2 years 12 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 7938 times:

I am trying to put together my next flight to EZE, and MVD, when I once again realized how ridiculously overpriced air travel is in South America. I am booked on a flight into GIG and would like to connect from there to either MVD, EZE, AEP, COR but can't seem to find offers for under US$350 round trip.

How is that possible? GIG-EZE or GRU-EZE are around 2hrs. of flight time, there is an abundance of competition including various 5th freedom carriers (EK, QR, BA etc.), yet cost 2-3 times as much as comparable flights on other continents (JFK-MIA, LIS-FRA, PEK-HKG etc.). The same holds true for MEX-EZE, MEX-SCL, MEX-GRU and so on.

Anybody in the know, why this is the case? I would expect labor costs, airport handling fees, taxes, maintenance, etc. to all be lower than in Europe or Northern America. Yet, the prices are so much higher in spite of healthy competition.

What am I missing?


..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6618 posts, RR: 35
Reply 1, posted (2 years 12 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 7932 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting something (Thread starter):
How is that possible? GIG-EZE or GRU-EZE are around 2hrs. of flight time

It´s actually closer to three hours.

As for why the reason all those flights out of MEX are so expensive is lack of capacity on nostop flights. If you are willing to do a connection at PTY, LIM, BOG for example you may be able to get a better fare.

Now, as for GIG-EZE or GRU-EZE being so expensive. I believe it´s a combination of factors.

Government intervention.
Not enouch capacity.
Expensive airport infrastructure at both ends.
GRU is slot restricted and saturated.
The market bears it
It´s high season down there at the moment.

I´m aware many airlines have 5th freedom rights, but in this market what matters is frequency. This airlines´ schedules are not very convenient except for low yield passengers.

Have you thought about going via VVI? It´s kind of a detour but you might find good deals on Boliviana or Aerosur.


User currently offlinesomething From United Kingdom, joined May 2011, 1633 posts, RR: 21
Reply 2, posted (2 years 12 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 7928 times:

Quoting AR385 (Reply 1):

Hey AR385.. Thanks for the input. I have actually tried and thought about every possible connection. Flying via CCS, PTY, BOG, VVI, La Paz in Bolivia (code?), SCL, MVD, EZE, AEP you name it and I'm at my wit's end.

Do you think they make flights more expensive for foreigners booking from another country? Thai, among other airlines, does that.

There are 12 daily flights between GRU-EZE, 11 daily between GRU-AEP, 4 daily GIG-AEP, 5 daily GIG-EZE. Some of these flights are widebodies (JJ A332, BA 744, QR 77L, EK 77W) too. Add to that about 7-8 daily flights between GRU-MVD and GIG-MVD each.

As a rule of thumb of European flying, I think everything around or under €30 per hour of flying is a good deal (total flight time, both ways). Promotions and/or off-season tickets should cost about half that much. Flying between Sao Paolo or Rio De Janeiro to Buenos Aires or Montevideo costs 2-3 times that much.

Are South American airlines laughing all the way to the bank, or is it heavy taxation that makes flights so expensive (like with electronics in Brazil)?

P.S. I would love to fly Aerosur. At first I was actually trying to fly their 744 from MAD, but nothing could beat the €252 AF deal I scooped up.



..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6618 posts, RR: 35
Reply 3, posted (2 years 12 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 7924 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting something (Reply 2):
Do you think they make flights more expensive for foreigners booking from another country? Thai, among other airlines, does that.

I know that flying domestically within Argentina the fares are different for foreigners, significanlty, than for the locals. Now, I don´t know if they can do that on International flights, but I doubt it.

Quoting something (Reply 2):
There are 12 daily flights between GRU-EZE, 11 daily between GRU-AEP, 4 daily GIG-AEP, 5 daily GIG-EZE. Some of these flights are widebodies (JJ A332, BA 744, QR 77L, EK 77W) too. Add to that about 7-8 daily flights between GRU-MVD and GIG-MVD each.

Think about it, 12 daily flights GRU-EZE, 11 GRU-AEP, 4 daily GIG-AEP and 5 daily GIG-EZE is nowhere near what the two main industrial and financial centers of South America need to fulfill the demand. Especially between GIG and EZE, least of all this time of the year.

How many flights a day between CDG/ORY and LGW/LHR/STN/LTN ? See my point? Even between MTY and MEX there are at least 35 daily flights. I won´t say 40 because I´m not sure, but it wouldn´t surprise if during weekdays you could get that number of flights.

Have you tried getting a Saturday or Sunday flight? you may get lucky, especially for a midday Saturday departure. Another idea: Have you checked flying to Punta del Este and then getting a ferry to BUE?

You also need to keep in mind that Revenue Management is not as sophisticated in South America as in Europe. That introduces a lot of rigidities in fares. From my experience, you might as well purchase your ticket if you´ve done so much research, because it will not go down in price as the date gets closer. If anything, you might end up with a real insane fare.


User currently offlinesomething From United Kingdom, joined May 2011, 1633 posts, RR: 21
Reply 4, posted (2 years 12 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 7918 times:

Quoting AR385 (Reply 3):
How many flights a day between CDG/ORY and LGW/LHR/STN/LTN ? See my point? Even between MTY and MEX there are at least 35 daily flights. I won´t say 40 because I´m not sure, but it wouldn´t surprise if during weekdays you could get that number of flights.

That's a lot of flights! I don't think there are 40 daily flights between any European cities but then again, there are trains. So I guess I am underestimating the size of these two cities and the capability of their airports..

Quoting AR385 (Reply 3):
Have you checked flying to Punta del Este and then getting a ferry to BUE?

I hadn't, but I have now. $400 is the cheapest I can find. Which is more than I pay for CDG-GIG-CDG lol



..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6618 posts, RR: 35
Reply 5, posted (2 years 12 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 7914 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Well. I guess you´re stuck. Alternatively you could do the exotic thing and bus your way down to BUE. But if the flight is about three hrs from GIG, 2:45 from GRU, that´s going to be a long bus ride.

POA is popular. You could fly to POA from GIG or GRU and then fly from POA to BUE. But I don´t think there´ll be much difference on the airfare. Check it out anyway.


User currently offlinesomething From United Kingdom, joined May 2011, 1633 posts, RR: 21
Reply 6, posted (2 years 12 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 7912 times:

Quoting AR385 (Reply 5):
POA is popular. You could fly to POA from GIG or GRU and then fly from POA to BUE. But I don´t think there´ll be much difference on the airfare. Check it out anyway.

Everything into EZE seems excessive. Even COR-EZE (one hour domestic flight) goes for over $200 r/t. It's madness.

Thanks for all the advice and feliz año nuevo a ti  



..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
User currently offlineInitious From Singapore, joined Dec 2008, 1067 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (2 years 12 months 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 7910 times:

Quoting something (Reply 2):
Do you think they make flights more expensive for foreigners booking from another country? Thai, among other airlines, does that.

I disagree with this sentence. I've booked with TG numerous times and they were much cheaper than other airlines (or probably the cheapest out there) in J class.



One way I will fly around the world!
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3025 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (2 years 12 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 7908 times:

Quoting something (Thread starter):
spite of healthy competition.

I guess it is the market - if the market can bear higher fares, then it will. The lower end of the market will put up with the long distance bus rides to be cheaper. (As an aside, some long distance busses in South America are really nice, especially in "Executivo" class, maybe worth trying out on a short-ish leg, eg. Rio - SP)

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlinesomething From United Kingdom, joined May 2011, 1633 posts, RR: 21
Reply 9, posted (2 years 12 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 7831 times:

Quoting AR385 (Reply 5):
Alternatively you could do the exotic thing and bus your way down to BUE. But if the flight is about three hrs from GIG, 2:45 from GRU, that´s going to be a long bus ride.
Quoting signol (Reply 8):
As an aside, some long distance busses in South America are really nice, especially in "Executivo" class,

Apparently there are bus services between Sao Paolo and Uruguay. Do you happen to know any operators, or websites where I can check fares and schedules?

Quoting AR385 (Reply 3):
You also need to keep in mind that Revenue Management is not as sophisticated in South America as in Europe. That introduces a lot of rigidities in fares.

The whole market seems to be very much government controlled. EZE-COR costs almost twice as much as EZE-SCL, even though it's shorter. There is much more competition on EZE-SCL and they all cost the exact same ($162,34 r/t in this case; everyday and every flight of the week).

Maybe I should have just booked FRA-EZE-FRA and paid up right away.



..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
User currently offlineCheco77 From Peru, joined Oct 2004, 1345 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (2 years 12 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 7822 times:

Its incredibly expensive, you are right. However, on the other hand, at least here in Peru, LAN and TACA often offers incredible deals on certain destinations. If one is flexible and not forced to fly, then you can actually fly pretty cheaply.

I think the main problem is the total lack of LCC on the continent. Similar to what Air Asia X is in Asia is totally a need here in South America. Sky Airlines from Chile are trying to be a LCC, but often their fares are higher than those of LAN. Hopefully, we see a LCC soon, the market really needs it!

Adam



Czech Boeing lover living in Lima
User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3025 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (2 years 12 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 7806 times:

Quoting something (Reply 9):
Do you happen to know any operators

I don't know specifically for that route, but I've used in the past (some years ago now!):

http://www.itapemirim.com.br/
http://www.autoviacao1001.com.br/en/
http://www.viacaocometa.com.br/pt/

This site:
http://www.busstation.net/main/busuru.htm
http://www.busstation.net/main/busbra.htm

seems to have a list of bus companies.

Hope this helps!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlinesomething From United Kingdom, joined May 2011, 1633 posts, RR: 21
Reply 12, posted (2 years 12 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 7794 times:

Quoting signol (Reply 11):
Hope this helps!

Helps a lot, thanks a ton!

If the money saving outweighs the time loss, I will go for the bus.

If it doesn't, I have put a rather strange contingency plan together:

CDG-GIG on AF
GIG-FOR on JJ, then FOR-POA on JJ, then POA-MVD on PU
EZE-SCL on AC
SCL-GRU on JJ, then GRU-SDU on JJ, then GIG-CDG on AF

The South American flying would cost about $450, which incidentally, is not much more than GRU-EZE-GRU alone would set me back and in total (+ the 2 AF flights), is still cheaper than what Europe- EZE direct would have been.

But I'd much prefer a cheaper option and spend the saved money on Argentinian food instead.



..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
User currently offlinePlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11722 posts, RR: 60
Reply 13, posted (2 years 12 months 2 days ago) and read 7787 times:

Look at multi-stop flights on TAM's website, when I was booking just over a year ago they had excellent and very reasonable fares. I booked MVD-GRU-GIG-IGU, AGT-ASU-EZE for £126 all in, including a leg on Pluna's CR9. It might mean a few extra connections, but the savings may make it worthwhile.

I found many domestic/regional flights to be expensive from/to EZE for destinations like COR, MVD etc... but from the city airport, AEP, they were much cheaper - from like £50 o/w for AEP-MVD. I think we paid about £70 o/w but that was to specifically fly on SOL's Saab 340A.


Dan  



...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
User currently offlineAR385 From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 6618 posts, RR: 35
Reply 14, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 7782 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

The following sites are companies. I have personally travelled in AndesMar and they have an excellent service. The last two sites have general information and might aid further in your search. Good luck.

I recall how a year ago I wanted to fly AEP-MDZ and the fare was $200 USD return with taxes on AR and $190 USD with LAN. I waited to see if the fare would go down but it went to $500 USD. Ridiculuous.

http://www.omnilineas.com/
http://www.andesmar.com/shop/default.asp

http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel...ires-Long_Distance_Buses-BR-1.html
http://gosouthamerica.about.com/od/b...and_Companies_in_South_America.htm


User currently offlinesomething From United Kingdom, joined May 2011, 1633 posts, RR: 21
Reply 15, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 7769 times:

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 13):
Look at multi-stop flights on TAM's website

That's a great idea. I happened to do that when AR385 suggested to dip through POA and it's interesting to see that multi-stop flights are cheaper than non-stops. Hence the weird GIG-FOR-POA-MVD routing I had come up with.

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 13):
I booked MVD-GRU-GIG-IGU, AGT-ASU-EZE for £126 all in, including a leg on Pluna's CR9

That sounds fantastic. Wouldn't mind spending a day or two at ASU either. I don't understand a word of their guarani Spanish but still, great place!

Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 13):
I found many domestic/regional flights to be expensive from/to EZE for destinations like COR, MVD etc... but from the city airport, AEP, they were much cheaper - from like £50 o/w for AEP-MVD. I think we paid about £70 o/w but that was to specifically fly on SOL's Saab 340A.

I've tried AEP but it's just as expensive. You can take the ferry between Buenos Aires and Montevideo for about £30 both ways, so that isn't much of a problem. Getting to Cordoba however is not quite that simple. Rental cars will also cost you a limb there.

Flights in and out of SCL seem decently fared however. EZE-SCL-GRU (on AC and JJ 77W) is £160 and it's even cheaper if you fly LAN (A320s and/or 763).

But I've gotta be careful not to get carried away. If I run through LHR-CDG-GIG-FOR-POA-MVD-EZE-SCL-GRU-SDU-GIG-CDG-LHR in such a short time frame, I'm not sure I'll be able to enjoy the travel too much anymore.
Especially since all I had in mind was to visit my friend in Montevideo and hang out in Buenos Aires for a couple of days!

Quoting AR385 (Reply 14):
The following sites are companies. I have personally travelled in AndesMar and they have an excellent service. The last two sites have general information and might aid further in your search. Good luck.

Gracias! Appreciate it a lot!



..sick of it. -K. Pilkington.
User currently offlineairtrainer From Belgium, joined Aug 2003, 1559 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (2 years 12 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7758 times:

Quoting Initious (Reply 7):
I disagree with this sentence. I've booked with TG numerous times and they were much cheaper than other airlines (or probably the cheapest out there) in J class.

Might be the case for J, but unfortunately not for Y, when looking for flights over the past few years (and I do that on a regular basis), TG has never been among the cheapest options 



Life is short : eat dessert first !
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Flights Within South America - Online Or Via T/A posted Fri Jun 6 2008 19:16:18 by LDIkaros
NYC-YYC: Why So Expensive? posted Sat Feb 12 2005 06:54:43 by FA4B6
Air Asia Counter Check-in Fee: Why So Complicated? posted Mon Dec 19 2011 02:04:52 by slz396
Any Reason Why SkyTeam Is So Expensive? posted Sat Oct 15 2011 22:18:18 by flyguy89
Why Are Taxes To LHR So Expensive? posted Sun Aug 14 2011 21:54:26 by tonytifao
Why No C/F-Class On Dom. Flights In Brazil? posted Fri Jul 29 2011 08:37:08 by DutchBoeing
Why Is JAL So Expensive? posted Thu Aug 26 2010 14:11:23 by JetBlue777
Why Is It So Expensive To Fly To LAX? posted Wed Jul 8 2009 00:17:21 by CaliAtenza
Why Are Domestic Argentinian Airfares So Expensive posted Sat Jan 3 2009 10:44:03 by Avianca
AC 090 YYZ-GRU. Why So Many Delays? posted Sun Sep 4 2011 09:58:58 by maiYYZ
Flights Within South America - Online Or Via T/A posted Fri Jun 6 2008 19:16:18 by LDIkaros
NYC-YYC: Why So Expensive? posted Sat Feb 12 2005 06:54:43 by FA4B6
Air Asia Counter Check-in Fee: Why So Complicated? posted Mon Dec 19 2011 02:04:52 by slz396
Any Reason Why SkyTeam Is So Expensive? posted Sat Oct 15 2011 22:18:18 by flyguy89
Why Are Taxes To LHR So Expensive? posted Sun Aug 14 2011 21:54:26 by tonytifao
Why No C/F-Class On Dom. Flights In Brazil? posted Fri Jul 29 2011 08:37:08 by DutchBoeing
Why Is JAL So Expensive? posted Thu Aug 26 2010 14:11:23 by JetBlue777
Why Is It So Expensive To Fly To LAX? posted Wed Jul 8 2009 00:17:21 by CaliAtenza
Why Are Domestic Argentinian Airfares So Expensive posted Sat Jan 3 2009 10:44:03 by Avianca