Runaway airfare inflation is starting to dampen demand for summer travel, data shows

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VSumers spent $1 billion less on airfare in April than in March, according to an Adobe Digital Insights report released yesterday. Amid runaway airfare inflation, this could be a sign that demand is cooling as we enter the busy travel season.

Airline fares rose 19% between March and April, dtorn apart by factors such as rising jet fuel prices and pent-up pandemic demand. In many cases, pilot shortages and other disruptions resulted in a reduction in routes.

Currently, travelers are finding records for summer airfares, according to Hopperthe site and the job search application. The average round-trip domestic airfare this summer costs $383, or 34% more than in 2019 before the pandemic. A round-trip international ticket reached $900, an increase of 2% compared to 2019.

Consumers spent $7.8 billion on domestic tickets in April, according to Adobe’s report, a 13% drop from March. Bookings are down 17% overall, according to the report.

Airline bookings in April were 5% higher than 2019 levels. Due to significantly higher airfares, this translated into a 23% increase in spending compared to the same month in 2019. March, bookings were 8% compared to March 2019 and spending was up 27% in comparison.

April is the third month in a row that 2022 airfares have increased from pre-pandemic 2019 levels. In January 2022, prices were 3% below 2019 levels.

Adobe’s report suggests that airfare inflation has reached such a point that it is now causing many consumers to forgo buying tickets.


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“We are seeing indications that some have chosen to delay their travel plans rather than cancel them outright,” said Vivek Pandya, principal analyst at Adobe Digital Insights. “While Memorial Day bookings are down, summer travel is above pre-pandemic levels.”

Meanwhile, Hopper says summer airfares haven’t peaked yet. The company expects average prices to rise 6% to 12% before peaking in late June. Hopper suggests consumers start watching prices now thanks to its price monitoring tool to be notified in real time in the event of a price drop.

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