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With Summer Travel Optimism Growing, Average Airfares Start to Climb

travel bags and airplane in sky

After president Joe Biden announced the goal of “A July 4th with loved ones,” interest in airfare is growing. As more flyers debate the merit of booking summer flights, the average flight price is also increasing, quickly rising to near pre-pandemic levels.

With flyers hopeful that travel restrictions could be lifted this summer, buyers could be facing pre-pandemic pricing sooner rather than later. New data released by flight booking software Hopper suggests that as searches increase, pricing will grow as well.

Pricing Forecasted to Grow by 12 Percent As Summer Progresses

After president Joe Biden announced his goal of “A July 4th with loved ones” thanks to expanded COVID-19 vaccinations, the interest in flying again has gone up. Over the month of March 2021 alone searches for domestic flights increased by 58 percent – which significantly passed 2019 search volume.

Graph courtesy: Hopper

In particular, the number of searches for travel over the Independence Day weekend also expanded. Hopper’s data shows searches for domestic airfare increased by 63 percent following the Biden speech.

Graph courtesy: Hopper

As a result, Hopper is predicting flight prices will only increase as the summer continues. Their research projects a five percent increase between April and May 2021, a seven percent increase between May and June, followed by a 12 percent increase into the summer months.

Graph courtesy: Hopper

Meanwhile, with international travel still in limbo, prices aren’t expected to grow as fast. The search tool predicts a total price increase of three percent between April and May, followed by a five percent increase between May and June.

Graph courtesy: Hopper

“International airfare is heavily dependent on region-by-region travel restrictions,” the report reads. “Tightening travel restrictions tends to result in fewer flights to that country, which correspondingly increases airfare.”

Airfare Increase Projections Come as Airlines Predict Busy Summer

The new projections come as airlines are preparing for a major recovery coming this summer. American Airlines announced they are planning to fly more than 90 percent of their domestic seat capacity this summer, including operating over 150 new routes.