According to a new report from Kiwi.com, finding cheap airfare is like real estate. It’s all about location, location, location.
In the study, the online travel agency concluded that some countries offer better value flights than others. Topping the list is Malaysia, where travelers can purchase tickets for about $4.18 per kilometer. Bulgaria came in second at $4.65 a kilometer, followed by India at $4.96 a kilometer.
Out of the 80 countries analyzed, the US ranked as the 30th least expensive country to book airfare. With an average cost of $11.50 per kilometer (0.62 miles), the US fell dramatically from last year’s ranking of 17th.
Belgium came in at the bottom of Kiwi’s list, with the average ticket costing travelers $54.63 per kilometer. The Netherlands was second to last at $54.51 per kilometer, followed by Qatar at $53.94 per kilometer.
To develop its ranking, Kiwi analyzed more than a million flights around the world, looking at both short-haul and long-haul routes. All flights were checked for the same dates of travel, taking into account high and low seasons. (Domestic flights were calculated by finding an average airfare from the country’s capital to up to five major cities within the country, or to a major city nearby in a neighbouring country when no domestic flights were available.) Of course, there are many factors contributing to why the price of airfare differs from country to country.
“Year on year changes can partly be attributed to fuel prices, socio-political shifts such as Brexit, recent elections and fluctuations in foreign exchange rates,” said Kiwi.com CEO Oliver Dlouhý. The UK – which came in 27th on the list – for example, “is seeing a larger number of Americans visit due to the weakening of the pound, whereas Egypt and Turkey saw a drop in ticket prices due to a decrease in demand due to regional turmoil,” Dlouhý said.
If demand impacts ticket prices, the US could see itself moving up on next year’s list. After the Trump administration issued a travel ban affecting seven Muslim-majority countries in February, the US saw a slight dip in international tourism. On June 1, the website Forward Keys reported tourism to the US is still struggling, with summer airfare bookings down 3.5% compared to last year.
Brittany is a reporter at Yahoo Finance.