Airfares Tumbled as Jet Fuel Prices Fell

Airline ticket prices fell sharply in July after peaking in recent months, fueled by high costs, high demand and a limited number of flights.

Fares fell 7.8 percent in July compared to June, helping to ease overall inflation. Aviation experts said they expect prices to continue to drop into the fall as jet fuel prices and demand ease.

Fares peaked in May when many travelers began confirming summer travel plans. After more than two years of exercising caution, many people took longer trips this summer, which is typically the busiest season for air travel. At the same time, many airlines cut the number of flights on their summer schedules to reduce the risk of mass delays and cancellations because of weather and staffing problems especially around holidays and other peak travel days. Fares were also driven up by high labor and fuel costs.

The drop in fares last month coincided with a decline in U.S. jet fuel prices, which were down about 25 percent at the end of last month, from their peak at the end of April, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Flight prices typically drop from late August through mid-fall as summer travel eases, according to Hopper, a travel booking and price-tracking app. Fares are expected to average $286 this month, down as much as 25 percent from May, Hopper said. Fares are expected to stay below $300 through September, before rising again, to a peak of $373 in November, up 24 percent from the same month in 2019, Hopper said.

Despite broader economic concerns, airline executives have said in recent weeks that they haven’t seen a substantial decline in bookings beyond usual seasonal trends.

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