A surge of travelers — held back by travel restrictions a year ago — are rapidly booking international trips despite skyrocketing prices.
Hayley Berg, economist at travel app Hopper, told FOX Business that international airfares are already averaging over $1,000 per round-trip, which is up 34% from last year and up 32% from pre-pandemic levels.
Berg projected that prices for international trips will continue to increase through June.
It’s not quite the same price surge as we are seeing for domestic travel, according to Hopper data. Airfare for domestic trips is averaging just over $280 per round trip, which is actually down 12% from a year ago and in line with 2019 figures.
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What’s most notable, Berg said, is that demand for international trips has persisted despite significantly higher airfare costs.
In fact, flight prices to Europe are 20% higher than in 2019, according to Berg. Meanwhile, airfare to Asia is nearly 60% higher than in 2019.
“Yet these regions are where capacity is being added back,” she said.
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Berg isn’t surprised at the data given that international travel is “still in its recovery surge phase.”
At this time last year, “much of the world was still very closed off to casual tourism,” Berg said.
There was still a plethora of COVID-19 restrictions and “most airlines were operating very small international routes,” she said.
Although international tourism started to open up last summer, a lot of travelers still weren’t ready to head overseas.
As a result, travelers are taking advantage of international travel this summer and even booking longer trips that they did during pre-pandemic times.
Europe and Asia are capturing the most demand. Currently, Europe is snagging 36% of international searches and Asia is following closely behind at 26%, according to Hopper data.
Major U.S. carriers have been preparing for the surge too. Earlier this month, United Airlines announced it was adding nearly two dozen new routes this summer in order to meet “soaring overseas travel demand.”
The Chicago-based carrier is flying to 114 international cities this summer and expanding its flying by 25% compared with 2022 as demand for travel outside the U.S. continues to surge.
On Thursday, Delta Air Lines announced that advance summer bookings are the highest in the airline’s history.
For the quarter ended March 31, advance cash bookings for travelers was nearly 20% higher than 2019, while small and medium business bookings fully recovered compared to 2019 levels.
As a result, the airline is forecasting record revenue for the current quarter ending in June, with 15% to 17% revenue growth on a 17% expansion of capacity.
FOX Business’ Joe Toppe contributed to this report.
|UAL||UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS INC.||41.93||+0.49||+1.18%|
|DAL||DELTA AIR LINES INC.||33.37||-0.36||-1.06%|
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