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The cost of air travel can vary by more than 1000% between countries according to European travel company GoEuro. The surprising findings come from new research which looked at the cost of travelling by plane, train and bus in 51 countries around the world and highlights the wildly varying costs of transportation worldwide.
The good news is that the study provides further evidence of just how much money can be saved when travelling abroad with a little ‘insider knowledge’. Expats too, may find the research useful for calculating and comparing transport costs when considering destinations and salary packages on offer.
At the top of the charts comes Finland, where taking a flight will set you back an eye-watering $138.90 for every 100km travelled. However Finland isn’t alone when it comes to high costs of air travel; both Switzerland and Lithuania come in close behind, in second and third places respectively.
Interestingly, popular ‘hubs’ in the international air travel industry, such as the UK and Canada are conspicuous by their absence. Industry insiders point out that the budget airline industry is particularly strong in Britain and that increasing competition has helped to keep flight costs lower than many other countries.
At the other end of the scale, the cheapest country for air travel is India, with costs of just $10.36 per 100km when travelled by plane. That represents a shocking 1240% difference in the cost of flying between the most expensive and the cheapest countries for air travel.
India is not alone in offering its citizens relatively cheap flights. The second cheapest air fares are to be found in Malaysia, with South Africa settling for third place. Noticeably these countries typically have a far lower average annual salary than those countries at the top of the list which may be part of the reason for such competitive pricing. Interestingly, though, both Australia and USA managed to make it into the top ten for the countries offering cheap air travel.
The same study also looked at the price of rail travel in 51 different countries. Here Denmark is the most expensive place to take a train, with a cost of almost $40 per 100km. That’s almost four times the price of air travel in India. Once again Scandinavia features prominently in the most expensive category with the second and third places taken by Switzerland and Austria.
In stark contrast, South Africa is the cheapest country for rail travel ($1.88 per 100km), with Georgia and Egypt closely on their heels. While it’s easy to feel frustrated by the seemingly ever-rising cost of train fares in developed countries such as the UK and Australia ($9.59 and $10.59 per 100km respectively) the researchers are keen to point out that in many cases higher fares mean greater re-investment. This, in turn, can result in a higher quality of service to travellers.
Overall, of the 51 countries surveyed, South Africa was the cheapest for travel while Switzerland was the most expensive. America ranked number 22 with the UK being far more expensive and ranking at a disappointing number 39.
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