With the tidal wave of low-price air carriers sweeping through Asia, airfares in the region look pretty attractive.
According to flight search engine Skyscanner, the cost of flying is lowest for travel originating in the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka (this includes both domestic and international travel). Seven of the 10 cheapest countries for travel by air are in Asia:
The world’s most expensive country to travel in is Monaco, where it costs $316 on average to travel 100 kilometers by air.
That’s nearly 40 times the cost of air travel in the Philippines, Singapore, and Malaysia, (in southeast Asia, budget carriers now account for more than half the aviation market).
Greenland is the second most expensive country in Skyscanner’s rankings; there it costs $119 to travel as far. Also high in the tally of expensive air travel countries are North Korea, Venezuela, and Hungary.
In Asia, cutthroat competition between carriers is as important a factor in airline pricing as what customers can afford to pay.
Viewed in this context, many of the countries that appear to be the cheapest air travel hubs in dollar terms are actually the costliest, based on the relative wages of their consumers.
So while affluent travelers in places like India and China benefit from cheaper flights, extreme wealth inequality makes those airfares out of reach for much of the population.