ARC: May Air Ticket Sales Top $8B, First Since January 2020

Airlines Reporting Corp.-accredited travel agency air ticket sales for May 2022 totaled $8.4 billion, an 8.2 percent month-over-month increase, ARC reported Thursday. That total represents the first time monthly sales have topped $8 billion since January 2020.

Leisure agencies are currently leading sales into the summer months, but international sales also showed strength in May, even prior to the US eliminating the need for Covid-19 testing prior to arrival. Month-over-month May results showed international trips increased 6 percent, total passenger trips decreased 1 percent, and US domestic trips decreased 1 percent.

“Demand remains strong for air travel heading into the summer travel season,” ARC VP of global customers and data products Steve Solomon said in a statement. “Now that the US inbound international testing requirement has been dropped, we anticipate international passenger trips to continue their upward trajectory.”

International trips settled by ARC in May increased 82 percent year over year to 8.4 million, while US domestic trips increased 28 percent to 14.3 million. Total passenger trips settled in May increased 43 percent year over year to 22.8 million.

US round-trip air ticket costs continued to increase in May and averaged $628, up from $585 in April, which had been the highest average ticket price recorded in the past seven years, according to ARC. Electronic miscellaneous document sales, which include fees for such ancillary products as upgraded seats and checked bags, increased 145 percent year over year in May to $17.1 million. The number of EMD transactions increased 64 percent to just over 244,700 over the same period.

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