Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) data for June shows average ticket prices are up 33% in the US market compared to just a year ago. While prices are down slightly from May, passengers continue to book more trips, especially internationally. Let’s take a look at the numbers.
ARC-affiliated travel agents, representing more than 10,640 agents across the United States, recorded revenues of $7.9 billion in June 2022. This is a 78% increase from compared to the previous year, supported by a 52% increase in the total number of international trips this year. However, revenues are down 6% from May and down 5% (4% domestic and 7% international).
For passengers, ticket prices continue to rise. An average round-trip flight would cost travelers $605 in June 2022, up 33% from the previous year. This is mainly due to strong demand from passengers, many of whom have not traveled during the summer for more than two years, but also to rising input costs such as fuel and employee costs.
Almost all airlines and airports have ditched pandemic-era restrictions such as masks and social distancing. Photo: Getty Images
ARC booked 21.6 million passenger trips last month, up 23% from 2021, signaling that demand was unaffected during the summer months despite economic headwinds. That was reflected in airline revenues this quarter, with the big three all reporting profits on record revenues.
In a statement, Steve Solomon, vice president of global customers and data products at ARC, said:
“In pre-pandemic years, we typically saw an 8-12% drop in total sales and passenger travel from May to June. The smaller month-over-month decline in total sales and passenger travel shows that air travel demand remains strong for both domestic flights and international routes.
Will it last?
With summer ending in less than two months, airlines and ticket agents are anxiously looking ahead. In the United States, high inflation is expected to affect discretionary income for travel, leaving fall and winter figures unknown. A possible recession could be another major problem for airlines, which have not even fully recovered capacity yet.
US airlines have seen revenue soar to lifetime highs, even with capacity not yet restored. Photo: Vincenzo Pace I simply fly
However, there is also good news. The US market was less affected by the staffing shortages plaguing Europe, allowing carriers to offer their full schedules again. While individual airlines, like American with its long-haul operations, may lag behind, the market as a whole is recovering. And if the revenue figures are to be believed, a recovery could already be here.
Airlines optimistic, for another quarter
When it comes to airline revenues, it’s clear that carriers are happy with their profits at the moment. Most have released forecasts that also include expected third-quarter earnings, showing that stable financial footing for the very first time. However, everything that follows remains a challenger, with carriers citing high fuel prices as a particular challenge. For now, the US market is flying high and summer is in full swing.
What do you think of the recovery of airlines in the United States? Will it last all year? Let us know in the comments!