Energy prices saw another decline last month, after a wild ride over the past year, reflecting volatile energy prices and fluctuations in demand.
Fares fell 18.9 percent in the year to June, or 8.1 percent between May and June, even as passenger traffic fell. reached record levels. However, the numbers are somewhat deceptive due to a host of circumstances.
Ticket prices rose last summer Americans have also planned for the holidays they were denied during the pandemic. At the same time, airlines have struggled to save seats, grounding planes while no one was flying and shedding staff in a wave of retirements by pilots and other staff. Then the prices of jet fuel rose, and air carriers passed the extra costs on to customers.
These factors have significantly eased in recent months. Airlines are aggressively hiring for all jobs and adding flights, bringing capacity back to pandemic levels. And as energy prices slowed, so did ticket prices.
Although this summer has seen its share of disruptions at airports, a lot of that has been due to the weather. Airlines blamed a shortage of air traffic controllers.
However, there are important wrinkles to how airfares are measured, which make analysis difficult.
It was difficult to adjust to seasonal factors in air travel, given the severe disruptions during the pandemic. Also, the DOL fare index is made up largely of domestic flights – international routes saw the largest increase in fares, as more travelers flock to overseas destinations.