Lord Howe Island is a tropical jewel less than two hours flying time from Australia’s east coast.
It is also, as I discovered yesterday, monopoly pricing paradise for Qantas Airways.
As the sole carrier, Qantas charges what it wants, which is generally between $1200-$1500 return from Sydney or Brisbane.
Yet where there’s competition the equation is totally different.
For example, today Qantas is charging $650 return to Singapore, $700 to KL and $701 to Bangkok, all ex-Sydney.
The average total flying time to and from these cities would be around 16 hours.
That compares with 4 hours between the east coast and Lord Howe.
Therefore Lord Howe Island is one quarter of the time (and fuel) but twice the cost of flying to Southeast Asia.
Doesn’t sound right, but for Qantas, under attack on just about every other route, it is monopoly pricing paradise.