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Bookings for US airlines fell again in May with prices 30% higher than in 2019

Travelers pass through Terminal A at Orlando International Airport on Christmas Day, Saturday, December 25, 2021.

Stephen M. Dowell | Orlando Sentinel | Getty pictures

Orders for US airlines fell 2.3% in May from a month earlier, the second monthly fall in a row this year, while prices rose above 201[ads1]9 levels, according to an Adobe report published on Tuesday.

Customers spent $ 8.3 billion on domestic tickets last month, up 6.2% from April.

So far this year, consumers have spent more than $ 37 billion on domestic flights, almost double what they spent in the first five months of last year, when Covid-19 vaccines just became widely available.

“Although some consumers have been able to withstand the higher prices, especially for those who delayed travel plans during the pandemic, the decline in orders shows that some are reconsidering their appetite for boarding a plane,” said Vivek Pandya, chief analyst at Adobe Digital Insights. , wrote in the report.

Air fares have risen thanks to high fuel prices, labor shortages and rising travel demand after two years of pandemics, marking one of the most dramatic examples of rising inflation this year.

The bookings have generally been robust, although it is unclear whether the demand will last beyond the high season for spring and summer travel, when the airlines account for the majority of their annual revenues.

“We have not yet seen any cracks in airlines’ bookings, and investors are still concerned about a potential decline after high-summer travel,” Andrew Didora, an aviation analyst at Bank of America, wrote in a note on Monday.

Airlines applauded the Biden administration’s decision last week to repeal a Covid-19 test requirement for incoming international travelers. Didora said the shift could further accelerate international orders.

United Airlines said Monday that searches for international travel increased by 7% in the 72 hours since the White House announced it would shelve international test requirements, noting that “the majority of searches from U.S. travelers were for short-term travel this summer to destinations in Europe, Mexico and the Caribbean. “

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