ARC: Lifting Covid-19 Requirements Moved Int’l Travel Recovery Needle

US outbound international travel purchasing has recovered beyond 2019 levels following the lifting of Covid-19 testing requirements for inbound travel, according to data provided by Airlines Reporting Corp.

Total ticket sales through ARC on the week ending June 12, the same week when the lifting of the inbound testing requirement was announced, was 2.5 percent higher than the same week in 2019. International ticket sales had been trending below 2019 levels for the previous five weeks, according to ARC. The following week, sales improved further to 6.2 percent above 2019 levels.

In terms of ticket sales to Europe specifically, the recovery since the announcement has been uneven, with all major markets showing at least some improvement but most remaining below 2019 sales levels, according to ARC. France, Spain and the Netherlands, for example, all have seen only slight improvements in sales compared with 2019 levels from the week ending June 5 to the week ending June 19. For others, the improvement was starker. Ticket sales to Germany, for example, were down 46.2 percent from 2019 levels in the June 19 week, compared with 62.8 percent down in the June 5 week. For Italy, sales improved from 47.8 percent down in the June 5 week to 32.2 percent down in the June 19 week.

Portugal was the only individual European country among data provided to be improved compared with 2019, with sales up 12 percent the week of June 19. In the week prior to the lifted testing requirement, sales had been down 4.2 percent compared with 2019.

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