Aviation

Perth-Melbourne airfare prices soar for AFL Grand Final

West Australian football fans are furious after two major airlines raised ticket prices for AFL Grand Final weekend.

Qantas and Virgin Australia have increased the price of one-way tickets from Perth to Melbourne from $275 to more than $1100.

The Fremantle Dockers and West Coast Eagles will both play preliminary finals at home this weekend and fans are hopeful one or both teams will make the grand final on October 3.

Lifetime Eagles fan Nicholas Annoni said the price hike was ridiculous but understandable.

“There is a supply and demand that must go on and airlines understand that the more people that want to go…so the prices will go up,” he said.

“Only the elite footy fans with money can afford it.”

Tickets from Perth to Melbourne next weekend are now the same price as an international flight from Perth to Auckland, New Zealand.

But Qantas Integrated Operations Centre head Paul Fraser said in a statement yesterday that the company did not increase flight prices for special events.

“Because the finals series falls in the school holiday period, flights are already quite busy,” Mr Fraser said.

“The nature of the competition means we don’t get much notice about where the demand will come from, but we’re looking at different scenarios to see how we can help get fans to the game and back home again.”

This year could see the first ever Western Derby AFL Grand Final, a prospect that excites Mr Annoni.

“The only thing I hope for is the Eagles and Dockers both win, and then the Eagles smash the trophy-less Dockers,” he said.