Rising fuel costs, rising demand, and crew shortages are pushing the increase of flight prices by up to 30% in the summer months, Delta Airlines CEO, Ed Bastian, has suggested.
Even with fewer flights, Delta expects second-quarter revenue to return to pre-pandemic 2019 levels. Revenue per seat is projected to be up to 8% more than planned, according to the airline, which does not translate into benefits for passengers.
“We expect pricing this summer to be up probably somewhere between 25% and 30% on average,” said Ed Bastian when speaking to investors.
“We’ve never seen anything of that scale,” he added.
According to statistics, airfares in the United States have increased 25% in the last 12 months. In April alone, airfares rose an incredible 16.8%.
Thousands of travelers have taken to social media to express their dissatisfaction with rising prices, but many airline officials are hesitant to suggest that it will prevent them from going this year.
“If you are worried about prices destroying demand, you are betting against history,” said Scott Kirby, CEO of United Airlines.
Airfares will be back to 2014 levels only when adjusted for inflation, he said.
Helane Becker, Senior Research Analyst at Cowen, told Bloomberg TV on Monday: “We’re worried about September and what happens in the fall. Avgas prices are going up and up. Airlines are finding labor costs are going up, fuel costs are going up, airport costs are going up. They are facing huge inflationary pressures and need to raise ticket prices and at some point, the consumer is going to say ‘okay, we’ve done our travel, and we’re done, we cannot (afford) to fly again,”
What should travelers do?
Increased domestic demand in the United States is primarily to blame for the rise in airfares. Although some Americans are traveling abroad after the COVID-19 pandemic, the numbers are still down.
As a result, international flight fares in the United States are lower than they were before the pandemic.
This means that cheap flights to Europe, South America, and even the Caribbean or Mexico are still available.
Americans who want to travel within Europe might have to deal with the same problems.
Airfares in Europe might climb by a “high single-digit percentage,” according to Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair.
He said: “It seems to us that there will be higher prices into that peak summer period because there’s so much demand for the beaches of Europe and those price rises going to continue for now.”