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Data Shows Airfare Now Lower than Pre-Pandemic Levels

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New data from aviation consortium Airlines for America shows the average airfare is now lower than it was before the pandemic began.
There’s good news for those planning a trip in 2022: The average price you pay for airfare may be at the lowest point since 2000.


The research was released by aviation organization Airlines for America as part of their quarterly industry update on January 13, 2022.


Airfare Prices and Business Travel Demand Decreases, While Air Cargo Demand Climbs

Sourcing data from the U.S. Consumer Price Index, the organization says airfare prices are now significantly lower than ever in history. The CPI data shows airfare dropped 18% between 2019 and 2021 and is 30% below the highest point ever in 2013.


Courtesy: Airlines for America


Furthermore, airlines are continuing to pack more aircraft with cargo than passengers. Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, cargo traffic has increased by 19.1%, while flyer traffic has dropped around 38%.


Airlines for America January 2022 Data Chart: Passenger vs. Cargo Loads


The organization points to multiple datapoints for the reduced passenger traffic. First, COVID-19 fatality rates are higher in key U.S. markets than other places around the world. Based on information from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, the United States led the world in confirmed COVID-19 deaths since early September 2021.


Courtesy: Airlines for America


As a result, corporate travel bookings are significantly lower than pre-pandemic levels. In 2021, companies only spent 53% of the 2019 budget. All business flights – both domestic and international – are not expected to recover until 2024 at the earliest.


Airlines for America 2022 Recovery chart: Corporate Travel


Another consideration is the number of vaccinated people worldwide. The United States currently lags several developed nations in total inoculations, including Canada, Japan, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.


Airlines for America 2022 Recovery chart: International Vaccination Rates


However, there are still several reasons both airlines and A4A are optimistic for the upcoming year. In addition to current passenger loads only being 20% off from pre-pandemic highs, international travel is increasing across the Atlantic, Mexico and Latin America, as well as in the trans-Pacific market.


Airlines for America 2022 Recovery chart: International Passenger Loads


Report Out as Bastian Declares Worst of Omicron Behind Airlines

The data from A4A comes as Delta Air Lines chief executive Ed Bastian declared the worst of the Omicron variant behind the carrier, with better days to come. The declaration was made as he reported an adjusted gain for the fourth quarter of 2021, but a significant loss for the entire year.

health1au January 17, 2022

Still not seeing those super-low transpacific fares through Beijing or Shanghai. Prices definitely not cheaper for those routes. 

DMIND00 January 14, 2022

This may not be the place to comment on the ticket prices but it is the closest place I could find.  Really, I have paid 100.00 Per fare to Eugene Oregon on several flgihts from what I did before the pandemic and looking to travel again several times this spring it is still over 100.00 more.  These are all planned purchases way out.  So the statistics may be that on average but their are people who are being hit hard with high pricers.  Thats a 28% price increase. Prices went from 350 to 450. for round trip do the math.