Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) revealed that ARC-accredited travel agency air ticket sales reached $6.8 billion in July 2022, a 69 percent increase from July 2021.
ARC data comes from over 10,500 agencies across the United States. The average round-trip air ticket price for domestic travel was $555 in July, an increase of 21 percent year-on-year, yet 8 percent cheaper than in June 2022, indicating that air prices are falling.
However, even with lower prices, travelers are slowing down as we begin to enter the “shoulder season,” which typically begins when kids start going back to school. From June to July, total sales were down 13 percent, passenger trips were down 8 percent, domestic trips were down 6 percent and international trips were down 10 percent.
Compared to last year, international travel in July increased by 50 percent, with total passenger trips at 19.9 million, an increase of 18 percent. US domestic travel increased 6 percent from July 2021.
“We are seeing the average monthly ticket price decline earlier than usual in the year,” said Steve Solomon, chief commercial officer at ARC. “Looking ahead to the remainder of the year, we expect to see a continued increase in business travel as the summer holiday season winds down.”
Compared to 2019, already considered a benchmark for economic health before the pandemic, total sales in July 2022 are only $1.2 billion less than in July 2019. However, the month before, the total sales figure exceeded the 2019 level , to $7.9 billion compared to up to $7.8 billion in sales in June 2019.
While sales continue to close in on pre-pandemic levels, total passenger trips are still holding back somewhat, demonstrating that higher ticket prices are fueling an economic recovery even though travelers aren’t traveling at the same rates as before the pandemic. Passenger trips reached 19.9 million in July 2022; in 2019, they reached 25 million.
For the latest travel news, updates and offers, be sure to subscribe to TravelPulse’s daily newsletter.