One of the most frequent questions we get at Scott’s Cheap Flights is some variation of, “when will there be a good deal to…?”
While forecasting cheap flight deals isn’t an exact science, our flight team can use their deep knowledge of new and existing airline routes and historical pricing trends (including data on the great cheap flights we saw in 2018), to make some predictions about the best places to travel on cheap flights in 2019.
The places below aren’t the absolute cheapest places to go (and of course, we expect to see deals to tons of other spots, too), but we predict they will be cheaper places to fly this year. So, put on your favorite travel playlist and get ready to start dreaming of where to go in 2019.
We think we’ll see cheap flights to Iceland from all over the US and Canada (and in fact, just a week into 2019, we already have).
Icelandair is subsidized by the Icelandic government, which creates very low prices that other airlines try to undercut. That competition means good fares for flyers. In addition, the budget airline WOW, which ceased operations in March 2019, was based out of Reykjavik, and its rock-bottom fares helped create incentive for other airlines to slash prices, especially outside of Iceland’s peak summer travel period.
These are some of the cheap flights to Iceland we saw in 2018:
We're expecting to see lower fares to Kigali from India and most of Europe, as well as the occasional deal from the US.
In 2018, deals to Kigali were available from significantly more airports than in 2017, partially due to Air France joining the KLM–Kenya Airways joint venture. Flights from Europe to Kigali are also served by Turkish Airlines and Brussels Airlines, both of which had solid price drops throughout 2018.
Additionally, RwandAir has increased the number of destinations it serves in Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America. In 2019, it’s expected that more than one million passengers will arrive into or transit through Rwanda, a first for the country. Most will arrive through Kigali, which is the main jumping off point for gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park.
These are some of the cheap flights to Kigali we saw in 2018:
In 2019, we’ll likely see good deals to Buenos Aires, Córdoba, and Mendoza from Florida, New York, Western and Central Europe, UK, and Tel Aviv.
Argentina has historically been a very pricey destination, with regular prices with good routing generally €900 from Europe and more than $1,000 from the US, but increased direct flights to Buenos Aires are increasing competition and reducing prices. In 2018, we sent deals from Europe to Córdoba and Mendoza for the first time, and we’ve seen them appear multiple times since then.
These are some of the cheap flights to Argentina we saw in 2018:
Cheap flights to Italy were common last year and we’re predicting even more great fares, especially from the US and Canada, as well as Bangkok, Mumbai, New Delhi, and Dubai.
In 2018, Qatar Airways acquired a 49% stake in Air Italy’s parent company and began the first part of a large expansion that added destinations in Europe, the UK, Asia, and North America to its route network, including non-stop flights to Milan from Bangkok, New Delhi, Mumbai, New York and Miami. Non-stop routes from San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Toronto will begin in 2019. Last year, Flydubai, in partnership with Emirates Airlines, launched direct service from Dubai to Catania (Sicily), and this summer American Airlines will be the only airline to offer direct flights from the US to Bologna (from Philadelphia).
These are some of the cheap flights to Italy we saw in 2018:
The coming year should bring more cheap flights to the UK from West Africa and Central and South America, as well as a slew of deals from all over the US and Canada.
As a major hub, London frequently sees deals from the US and Canada, and we don’t expect that to stop. We’ve also seen more frequent deals to Inverness, in Scotland, from the US and Canada, and we’ve sent a number of deals from Central America and Mexico to the UK. Norwegian has announced a new route between London and Rio de Janeiro, which should increase competition from South America.
We also expect prices to drop from Africa in 2019, as the Ghanaian government works with Ethiopian Airlines to create a national carrier for Ghana, make Accra a major West African hub, and begin a direct flight from Accra to London. Since launching flights from Africa in September 2018, we've already seen a number of great deals to London from West Africa and we expect more to come.
These are some of the cheap flights to London we saw in 2018:
We think we'll see more, and cheaper, flights to Phú Quốc from California, Amsterdam, London, Paris, Rome, China, Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
This Vietnamese island off the coast of Cambodia may be the next big Southeast Asian beach destination, thanks to its white-sand beaches and the efforts of the Vietnamese government. They’ve designated the island a Special Economic Zone, and tourists who fly directly to Phú Quốc International Airport can stay on the island for up to 30 days without a visa (unlike the rest of Vietnam).
Direct flights to Phú Quốc are available from London and Milan. From the US or Asia, passengers can connect via Guangzhou with China Southern or Kuala Lumpur with AirAsia. We sent more deals to Phú Quốc in the second half of 2018 than the rest of 2018 and 2017 combined as China Southern rates have become extremely competitive, and we expect this trend to continue.
These are some of the cheap flights to Phú Quốc we saw in 2018:
We’re expecting to see more great fares to Amman and Aqaba from Chicago and New York City, as well as a dozen cities across Europe including Brussels, Milan, Prague, Rome, and Warsaw.
Throughout 2018, Ryanair began expanding into the Middle East with routes to both Aqaba and Amman. These fares are drastically cheaper than any previous fares to Jordan, and with a new route beginning in April 2019 (Malta), we don't see them reducing service anytime soon. While deals from the US and Canada are more rare, North American travelers can snag a cheap flight to one of these European cities and then hop to Jordan for under $50.
These are some of the cheap flights to Jordan we saw In 2018:
Flight deals to Munich from South and Central America should increase in 2019, and we expect to continue to see great fares to Munich from the US and Canada, as we did in 2018.
In 2018, Avianca launched a nonstop flight from Bogotá, and we’ve since seen a big rise in the number of deals to Munich from South and Central America. In 2019, LATAM will start flying nonstop from São Paulo, which might increase the price competition between Latin American and European airlines, giving travelers more chances to find deals.
These are some of the cheap flights to Munich we saw in 2018:
We think we’ll see cheap flights to San José del Cabo airport from all over the US and Canada, as well as from Amsterdam, Brussels, London, Madrid, Paris, Vienna, and Zurich.
We've seen a big rise in the number of deals to Cabo, with more than double the number of deals in the second half of 2018 as there were in the entire 12 months previous. The majority are with Aeromexico and their partners from the Skyteam Alliance. In summer 2018, Aeromexico increased their number of flights from Europe to their hub in Mexico City which means plenty of flights to fill up and plenty of deals to be had.
These are some of the cheap flights to Cabo we saw in 2018:
In 2019, we’re forecasting great deals to the Seychelles from East and Southern African departure cities and across continental Europe and the UK.
In recent years, there's been an increased number of airlines servicing the Seychelles, particularly from Europe (including a new direct route from London on British Airways) and flights from Eastern and Southern Africa have dropped in price, partially due to the growth of Kenya Airways, which seems set to continue.
These are some of the cheap flights to the Seychelles we saw in 2018:
There should be plenty of cheap flight deals to Hawaii from the US, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and Hong Kong this year.
Deals to Hawaii, particularly from the west coast of the US and Canada, come up fairly regularly (though be aware they're only sent to Premium members). Southwest Airlines plans to begin four nonstop routes from California to Hawaii, which has helped drive prices down as other airlines prepare for the competition. Additionally, Hawaiian Airlines continues to offer stellar return fares from East Asia and the Southern Hemisphere, including direct flights from Australia, New Zealand, Japan and China. Similarly, AirAsia offers fares in the $200s-$300s from Southeast Asia with stops in Osaka. If fuel prices remain low, these fares should persist into 2019.
These are some of the cheap flights to Hawaii we saw in 2018:
In 2019, lower fares to Tel Aviv from South America will be more common, particularly Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and Chile. While cheap flights from the US to Tel Aviv are rare, we have seen them (like this $591 fare from NYC or $570 from Boston) and think a few will pop up this year.
The Middle East is typically an expensive destination to reach, but fares from South America to Israel dropped significantly after LATAM’s new route connecting Santiago and Tel Aviv began. This is the first nonstop flight between South America and Israel after El Al cancelled the route to São Paulo seven years ago. LATAM flies from 120 different cities in Latin America and the whole region can expect good deals to Tel Aviv.
These are some of the cheap flights to Tel Aviv we saw in 2018:
There’s a good chance 2019 will bring more cheap flights to Johannesburg from South America, including Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay. We also expect to continue to see some great deals from the US, as we did in 2018.
In 2018 LATAM, increased the frequency of its São Paulo to Johannesburg route to a daily service. With more flights from South America, we’re seeing more frequent deals, and prices have dropped considerably for routes from Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay.
Last year we also saw some incredible deals from both coasts of the US, and though deals from the US to Africa don’t come around as often as some others, we think the trend of more affordable flights to Johannesburg will continue.
These are some of the cheap flights to Johannesburg we saw in 2018:
We think we’ll see more cheap flights to China from the US, Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.
While 2019 may not see as many new routes as past years, Chinese airlines will likely continue their aggressive expansion. Many smaller Chinese airlines which previously operated only domestic flights are opening long-haul international routes to Europe, Australia, and the United States with rock-bottom fares.
Chengdu, Xi'an, Xiamen, and Haikou or Sanya on Hainan island all have new nonstop flights from Europe, Australia and North America. Thanks to China's gradual liberalization of transit visas, most nationalities can also stop over in major cities for 144 hours enroute to a third country.
These are some of the cheap flights to China we saw in 2018:
In 2019, we’re expecting to see great deals to Japan (particularly Kyushu and Okinawa) from Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Southeast Asia, and Hong Kong.
Gone are the days when Tokyo was the traveler's only gateway to Japan. Low-cost and full-service flights have proliferated to a number of smaller airports around Japan. This trend has particularly benefited southern Japan and the islands of Kyushu and Okinawa, which have frequent nonstop service from China, South Korea, Singapore, and increasingly, Vietnam and Malaysia. Visitors from Europe or North America can easily arrive into Osaka or Fukuoka.
These are some of the cheap flights to Japan we saw in 2018:
Cheap flights to Casablanca and Marrakech should be on the rise, especially from the US, Hong Kong, China, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and the Middle East.
Over the past year, flights to Morocco have fallen into a similar price bracket as major European cities when departing from North America and Asia (and to a lesser extent Australia and New Zealand). Royal Air Maroc, which currently flies from NYC and DC, joined the Oneworld alliance in 2018, and is adding direct flights from Miami and Boston to Morocco in 2019. Additionally, one-stop connections from Asia are now available via Guangzhou, Beijing, and Dubai, which dramatically cuts travel time, making a trip to Marrakech from Asia just as feasible as London or Paris.
These are some of the cheap flights to Morocco we saw in 2018:
In 2019, we’re predicting good deals to Siberia from Vietnam, China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Tel Aviv.
While the very name Siberia is synonymous with remote and unreachable, the province is actually very accessible. It's possible to fly nonstop with Aeroflot or S7 from throughout Asia to major Siberian cities such as Novosibirsk, Vladivostok, and most notably, Irkutsk near the shores of Lake Baikal. This is a great jumping off point for trips further afield, such as the truly remote Kamchatka Peninsula or the classic Trans-Siberian Railway journey.
These are some of the cheap flights to Siberia we saw in 2018:
We think we’ll see cheap flights to Kota Kinabalu from India, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, China, Japan, and Dubai.
AirAsia and Malaysian Airlines lead the charge in opening Borneo to tourists. It's no longer necessary for most Asian or Australian travelers to transit in Kuala Lumpur if they want to visit the island, and China now boasts a number of direct flights that could similarly connect European and North American travelers to the Malay Archipelago.
These are some of the cheap flights to Borneo we saw in 2018:
Cheap flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco from Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia (and vice-versa, as we're already seeing good deals to Asia from LAX/SFO in early January) should increase in the coming year.
While Los Angeles has historically been the cheapest city to fly to from Australia, New Zealand, and Asia, the addition of affordable flights to San Francisco is rather new. Prices to both cities have fallen well below what we have previously seen on both one-stop routes and direct flights. Prices from SF and LA to Asia, New Zealand, and Australia have similarly fallen. This may be partially due to increased competition from Chinese airlines, namely China Southern and Xiamen.
These are some of the cheap flights to California we saw in 2018: