It is perhaps the most expensive economic seat in the world

At $ 32,600 per ticket, you’d expect a bit of extra legroom.

But that’s the going rate for a one-way economy class ticket from London to Sydney, according to research by Australian Aviation, which could be the most expensive economy class tickets in history.

Flights to Australia are not cheap on good days. Add to that the global COVID-19 pandemic – which has seen Australia cut itself off from the rest of the world – and the government’s decision to recently lower the country’s arrival caps, and you can see why the prices are so high. .

So why has the government suddenly reduced the ability for Australian citizens to return home? They cite increased transmission of the Delta variant of COVID, which would overwhelm the country’s hotel quarantine system, according to travel site Paddle Your Own Kanoo.

Australian Aviation notes that although the 44-hour trip is a record, other flights of $ 15,000 to $ 30,000 have recently been listed. Right now, over 34,000 Australians abroad are registered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to return home (if you’re not a citizen or, uh, shooting a movie, you probably do not enter Australia).

The airlines claim that they are certainly not making any money on this. “If you do one flight every day, you might have 25 passengers for five of those flights, then you might have no passengers for two flights,” said Barry Abrams, executive director of the Board of Airline Representatives of Australia. , who also suggested that some airlines could switch to cargo-only flights.

Meanwhile, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has defended the reduction in passenger numbers, but also said he hopes “there is no one looking for a business advantage in difficult circumstances.” .