On Oct. 18, 2022, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) released its second-quarter average airfare report. BTS average fares include round-trip and one-way itineraries. The average U.S. domestic airfare increased in the second quarter of 2022 to $397, up 22% from the second quarter 2021 inflation-adjusted fare of $326. The average Q2 2022 airfare was up 35% from $295 in the first full quarter (Q2) of the pandemic in 2020 and down 2% from pre-pandemic Q4 2019 ($406).
At Wichita Eisenhower National Airport, the average inflation-adjusted domestic fare in Q2 2022 increased 19% to $442.45 from Q2 2021.
As the airlines recover from the pandemic and air travel demand has returned, higher airfares are expected. The pandemic forced airlines to drop airfares during 2020. U.S. average airfares dropped 17% and ICT’s average airfare dropped 33% (Q2 2020 vs. Q2 2019). Airline costs have increased considerably during 2022. Jet fuel prices have increased 135% from an average of $1.75/gallon during 2015-2019, to a high of $4.12/gallon in June. Labor shortages are forcing higher wages for pilots, crew, and mechanics. Fuel and labor comprise the two largest cost centers for U.S. passenger airlines, with fuel at 17% and labor at 33% of total costs. Despite these higher costs, Wichita’s average airfare is 2% less Q2 2019. Compared to Q2 2000, Wichita’s Q2 2022 average inflation-adjusted airfare is down 34%.
Wichita’s fare is comparable to those in the region.
|AIRPORT||Q2 2022 AVERAGE AIRFARE|
The BTS report can be found here: https://www.bts.gov/newsroom/second-quarter-2022-average-air-fare-increases-22-second-quarter-2021