Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) has revealed its latest data showing that ARC-accredited travel agency air ticket sales totaled $5.4 billion in February 2022, which marks a remarkable 253 percent year-over-year increase from February 2021.
According to ARC, the net sales total marks the highest level since February 2020 just prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic when travel was essentially brought to a halt. The previous pandemic high for sales was $4.4 billion in November 2021.
Month over month, total sales increased by 48 percent, total passenger trips jumped 21 percent, U.S. domestic trips rose 17 percent and international trips climbed 28 percent. Year over year, total passenger trips settled by ARC in February 2022 increased 114 percent from 9.3 million to 19.8 million. The growth was helped by a 158 percent increase in international trips. U.S. domestic trips were up 96 percent year over year to 12.9 million.
Nonetheless, flight prices are up from this time a year ago. The average U.S. roundtrip ticket price in February 2022 was $464, signaling a 34 percent increase from $346 in February 2021. However, the 2022 total was still down five percent from the pre-pandemic February monthly average of $488.
February 2022 Electronic Miscellaneous Documents or EMD sales-including fees for products and services such as upgraded seats, checked bags, an unaccompanied minor, pet-in-cabin, etc.-increased 202 percent year over year to $9,298,339. EMD transactions increased 175 percent to 177,014 over the same period, ARC reported.
"Leisure demand nearing pre-pandemic levels and accelerated corporate travel bookings fueled another strong month of sales," Steve Solomon, vice president of global sales, marketing, operations and customer experience at ARC, said in a statement. "With the U.S. domestic travel market steadily rising, we are monitoring the war in Europe and its impact on the strong international travel growth to start the year."
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