Travelers who may have gotten accustomed to low airfares during the past two years when few were traveling may have a case of sticker shock now as fares have risen sharply in recent weeks.
Government data shows a 10.7% increase in average fares from February to March, and another 18.6% from March to April. Despite the rise, demand remains strong, and some in the industry talk about a 'sold out summer.'
The demand is fairly easy to understand: many appear unwilling to postpone travel any longer after two years of largely staying home. Reasons for the rise are more diverse, including higher fuel prices overall and especially since the start of war in Ukraine, and schedules constricted by shortages of staff as airlines struggle to fill staffs reduced by pandemic layoffs.
An additional factor in limiting schedules has been delays in airplane deliveries, with numbers of new 787s being held for safety inspections and numbers of older planes not yet recertified. And, of course, airlines are looking to make up their losses of the past two years as soon as they can.