Travel agency air ticket sales in August up 127% from 2021

ByRochelle W. Stone

Sep 15, 2022

Photo: Mikhalis Makarov/Shutterstock.com

Sales of air tickets from travel agencies continue to increase.

According to data from Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC), air ticket sales from ARC-accredited travel agencies totaled $7.3 billion in August 2022, up 127% from the same period in 2021 and the highest since June ($7.9 billion).

This August figure means that four of the last five months saw CRA-accredited agency sales exceed $7 billion, a figure that was not reached in any month from March 2020 to February 2022. The figure August was still down from $7.87 billion sold in the same month in 2019, part of that could be the gap between business and leisure, which still lingers.

January 2020 remains the highest since the start of 2020 with $8.8 billion in ticket sales.

August also showed a monthly increase in ticket sales and an increase in travel for these same agencies – total month-over-month sales increased 6% and total passenger travel increased increased by 9%, with domestic travel increasing by 11% compared to 5% for international flights.

One trend that could be driving these shocks, aside from the continued recovery in demand, is a decline in ticket prices month over month. July 2022 saw a 5% drop in the average ticket price, which stood at $526.

“Travellers have responded to lower airfares by buying plane tickets at a rate we don’t typically see at this time of year,” said Steve Solomon, chief commercial officer at ARC. “Leisure airline ticket sales exceeded pre-pandemic levels throughout August, while online travel agencies and business-focused travel agencies saw minor gains. “

Still, ticket prices are up 32% year-on-year and, according to data from travel tech firm Hopper, could rise over the next two months.