Domestic U.S. airfares fell by the most on record in the second quarter — another illustration of how the coronavirus pandemic gutted demand for flights.
Average one-way ticket prices plummeted 26% from the same period last year to $151, including taxes and fees, according to 20 years of airfare figures compiled by Cirium. Previously, the largest decline was 14% in late 2001, following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the aviation-data provider said Tuesday.
U.S. travel demand all but vanished this March, plunging airlines into their worst-ever crisis less than two months after the first U.S. coronavirus case was identified. As many Americans sheltered at home, carriers slashed their schedules, parked aircraft, ramped up borrowing and received $25 billion in federal payroll support, plus billions more in government loans.
The lowest fare in Cirium’s data was $149 in the fourth quarter of 2004 in nominal terms. But that would be about $203 in today’s dollars.
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