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2024 could be the year to travel as airfare prices are declining

Last month there was a notable decline in airfare prices, with a 7.1% decrease compared to the same month last year.
2024 could be the year to travel as airfare prices are declining
Posted at 8:09 PM, Apr 16, 2024

If you've noticed that airfare prices seem a bit more affordable lately, it's because they're on a downward trend.

According to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the average domestic airfare for 2023 was $382, making it 3.1% lower than the inflation-adjusted average fare of $394 in 2022; and it's 36.4% lower than the peak fare of $600 recorded in 2000.

The news comes while costs continue to rise in most other sectors — yet the desire to travel continues to increase.

"In the first quarter 2023, passenger demand increased with U.S. airlines reporting 75.4 million originating passengers, up 138.8% from 31.6 million passengers in the fourth quarter of 2020," DOT said in the press release. "U.S. passenger airlines collected 74.2% of total operating revenue of $39.2 billion from passenger fares during the first three months of 2023, down from 88.5% in 1990."

As for the numbers for this year, Nerdwallet reports that airfares dropped by 7.1% in March compared to the same month in 2023, and since 2019 before the start of the pandemic, airfares have only gone up by 2.6%.

While the prices are a bit lower, airlines like Delta are still benefiting from the traveling boom. Delta's first-quarter earnings report highlighted a $37 million profit fueled by the strong demand, and the airline says they expect the trend to continue throughout the summer.

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