The average price for a one-way domestic flight fell to $ 135 last summer, its lowest level in at least two decades. This was the result of an analysis of new federal data by Cirium, an aviation data company.
Usually personal travel increases in summer and decreases in autumn. This decrease is usually offset by business travel. However, with few people aboard planes and corporations disrupting most employee travel during the pandemic, airlines lowered fares to fill the reduced number of seats they were still selling.
“Summer was their last best chance to generate sales,” said Jon Jager, a Cirium analyst.
The company presented its estimates by analyzing the transportation department’s data on airfare from July to September, released Tuesday. The average price of $ 135 for a one-way ticket last summer, including taxes and fees, is the lowest pre-inflation-adjusted quarterly average fare since at least 2000, according to Cirium. The price is also a 32 percent decrease from the summer average of $ 198 2019.
Air traffic has recovered somewhat since it fell by more than 95 percent in April, but remains subdued. Just over 875,000 people were screened by the Transportation Security Administration on Monday, compared with nearly 2.3 million the same day last year. In the past week, the agency examined only about 37 percent as many passengers as it did a year ago.
The fare data also varies significantly depending on the airline. At Delta Air Lines, for example, the gross price for a one-way ticket from New York to Los Angeles fell by 21 percent to 298 US dollars from summer 2019 to summer 2020. Tariffs on the same route fell 32 percent for United Airlines and 46 percent for American Airlines during the same period.
Overall, Delta’s airfare fell 20 percent from the first quarter of 2020 through the third quarter, while prices for Southwest Airlines fell 26 percent, United Airlines fell 27 percent and American Airlines prices fell 31 percent.