ARC: US travel agency air ticket sales continue upward trend in October

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Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) today released data showing net sales from ARC-accredited travel agencies totaling over $1.4 billion in October 2020, up from nearly $1.2 billion in September 2020. October 2020 sales were down 83% compared to October 2019, but this marks the fourth consecutive month of air ticket sales growth as the industry continues recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Momentum in the recovery continues to fluctuate as rules change regularly in different U.S. states as well as other countries,” said Chuck Thackston, ARC’s managing director of data science. “We are encouraged by what we have seen over the past several months but understand that a full recovery will take time.”

Month over month, October 2020 results showed: 

  • A 7% increase in the total number of passenger trips;
  • U.S. domestic trips up 3%; and
  • International trips up 17%.

“Trips from the U.S. to the Caribbean and Mexico are fueling the increase in month-over-month international travel, while European and Asian travel originating from the U.S. remains low,” added Thackston.

Total passenger trips settled by ARC in October were down 68% year over year, from 25,396,442 to 8,145,750. U.S. domestic trips were down 65% to 5.7 million, while international trips totaled 2.4 million, a 73% decrease YOY. The average U.S. round-trip ticket price decreased from $506 in October 2019 to $377 in October 2020.

Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD) sales and transactions increased month over month by 33% and 20%, respectively. Year over year, EMD sales for October decreased by 55% to $3,057,166, and EMD transactions were down 44% to 66,235. 

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