The continued pent-up demand for travel this summer could push airlines to the brink of returning to pre-pandemic traffic levels - but it will come at a cost to the flier.
Increasing fuel costs will likely lead to higher airfares, aviation industry leaders told Business Insider.
Linus Benjamin Bauer, founder and managing director of consultancy firm Bauer Aviation Advisory, told the publication that domestic fares will increase an average of six percent per month until August, and international ticket costs will rise four percent each month.
"The rise of jet fuel prices is becoming another major headache to the aviation industry during the post-pandemic recovery process this year," Bauer told Insider.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said jet fuel is up four percent already in 2022 and 57 percent higher than this time last year. The average price of $106 per barrel is the highest since 2014.
It's not a surprise to the airlines, of course. Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said more than four months ago that rising fuel costs were a big concern in the industry.
"There's nothing we can do to keep fuel prices down," he said in October of 2021. "What we need to work on is our ability to include that in our pricing."
Said Adit Damodaran, an economist at travel website Hopper: "With jet fuel prices increasing 60 percent throughout 2021, we're expecting high costs to continue to create upward pressure on airfare in 2022."
Hopper said consumers will start seeing increases in tickets as soon as March.
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