December 9, 2022

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Just Do Travel

US Travel Agency Air Ticket Sales Experience 253% Annual Surge

The Airlines Reporting Corp (ARC) this week shared that its accredited travel agency air ticket sales amounted to $5.4 billion last month. This figure is a whopping 253% year-on-year increase from February 2021. It is also a 48% month-on-month growth.

Substantial figures

ARC is an industry leader in air travel distribution and intelligence, providing channel-agonistic tools and insights to help the travel network connect and grow around the world. It’s a trusted airline settlement solutions provider, handling more than $97 billion in transactions between airlines and agencies in 2019 alone. It recently shared some insights from the US market.

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The firm notes that ticket prices had been fluctuating over the last year due to the ever-changing circumstances of the global health crisis. It noticed a significant drop in US economy domestic fares last summer, falling nearly 30% between July and September, but there was some balance heading into 2022.

The previous peak for pandemic sales was $4.4 billion in November 2021. Notably, the omicron variant soon took its toll on the industry, impacting recovery. Nonetheless, the market is showing that it’s back on the right path when looking at ARC’s report. The data also shows that total passenger trips rose by 21% between January 2022 and February 2022. When breaking it down further, domestic trips in the US increased by 17% and international trips rose by 28%.


Industry-wide development

Steve Solomon, vice president of global sales, marketing, operations and customer experience at ARC, shared the following about this activity in a statement:

“Leisure demand nearing pre-pandemic levels and accelerated corporate travel bookings fueled another strong month of sales. With the U.S. domestic travel market steadily rising, we are monitoring the war in Europe and its impact on the strong international travel growth to start the year.”

Looking at statistics from 234 airlines and 10,728 retail agency locations, average daily sales totaled $14,277. Moreover, the average return ticket price was $464, a year-on-year increase of 34%.


Delta-Air-Lines-Airbus-A220-100-N113DQ-(2)-1

Carriers are enjoying better conditions compared with early 2021. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

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Conditions are improving across the board for the US air travel industry. All major airlines have announced the return of alcohol sale in their main cabins, coinciding with the ending of the current federal mask mandate.


While the US domestic market recovered considerably earlier than other segments across the globe, the long-haul sector hadn’t reached the same recovery rates. It was long expected that international services would take longer to return amid ongoing travel requirements, which are now starting to transition.

With the summer fast approaching and restrictions easing, passengers are increasingly taking advantage of the improved market climate. Airlines and customers alike will be hoping for consistency within the industry and will be keeping a close eye on factors such as new virus waves and global political crises in the months to come.


United Airlines Boeing 737-800 N39297

There is a better balance between local and international operations. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

There will undoubtedly be some twists. Several US airlines have been cutting their schedules over fuel costs. Yet, others have also been ramping up their frequencies ahead of the seasonal rush.

What are your thoughts about the strong travel agency air ticket sales numbers? What do you make of the current industry climate in the United States? Let us know what you think of the market and its prospects in the comment section.


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