In the company’s Second Quarter 2022 Consumer Airfare Index Report, analysts say pricing for round-trip flights are beginning to cost more than before the pandemic.
Airfare Prices Expected to Peak Around June 2022, Before Slowing Down
According to Hopper’s analysis, the current average price of a round-trip flight within the U.S. is $330 per flyer, which sits 7% higher than this time in 2019. Compared to the beginning of the year, domestic round-trip tickets have increased by 40%, and is at the highest point since Hopper began collecting airfare prices. To go abroad, the average international round-trip price of $810 matches the second quarter 2019 standard.
Despite the rising prices, flyers are more eager to book their next trip than ever before. Currently, the average advance on domestic flights is 41 days, nine days fewer than March 2019. The gap between booking and traveling internationally is even shorter: Flyers are booking flights on average 65 days in advance, down two weeks from March 2019.
The most popular destinations for the summer may come as no surprise. New York City is the most popular search for domestic flights so far, followed by Las Vegas and Orlando. Internationally, flyers are searching most often for trips to London, Paris and Cancun. Rising quickly in search interest within the U.S. is Houston, Chicago and Atlanta, while Seoul, Mexico City and Delhi are the highest trending cities internationally.
Looking ahead, the analysts for Hopper predict that airfare prices will continue to rise through June 2022, before slowly declining after June and into the off-peak travel season. Hopper predicts the average round-trip domestic airfare will increase by 10% to around $360, while the average international round-trip will increase by 15% to around $940 per flight. If international airfare meets the projected price, it would reflect an increase of roughly 5% compared to 2019.
Jet Fuel Concerns May Be Responsible for Increased Prices
The research from Hopper suggests while demand is a factor in the price increase, the biggest issue could be the sharp spike in jet fuel prices. As the military conflict in Ukraine continues, the price of aviation fuel per gallon is above the $4 mark, leading some airlines to cancel part of their schedule. Analysts say they expect “an 8-12% increase in airfare attributable to jet fuel if prices remain at this level, some of which we’ve likely already seen.”
Source: frugal travel guy