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US travel agency air ticket sales show seasonal trend in December

US travel agency air ticket sales show seasonal trend in December
US travel agency air ticket sales show seasonal trend in December
Written by Harry S. Johnson

US travel agencies’ December 2020 air ticket sales were down 83% compared to December 2019, when sales totaled $6.1 billion

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Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) today released data showing net sales from ARC-accredited travel agencies totaling $1 billion in December 2020, reflecting a typical seasonal decline in bookings at the end of the calendar year. Year over year, December sales were down 83% compared to December 2019, when sales totaled $6.1 billion.

Month over month, December 2020 results showed:

  • A 6% decrease in the total number of passenger trips;
  • U.S. domestic trips down 9%; and
  • International trips down 1%.

“While overall trips remain down as air travel continues its recovery, this past December performed better than December 2019 from a month-over-month standpoint,” said Chuck Thackston, ARC’s managing director of data science and research. “In 2019, total passenger trips from November to December were down 10%, but in 2020 that decline was only 6%. That’s an encouraging sign as we look to recovery progressing in 2021.”

Total passenger trips settled by ARC in December were down 66% year over year, from 19,344,759 to 6,512,647. U.S. domestic trips were down 64% to 4.2 million, while international trips totaled 2.3 million, a 70% decrease YOY. The average U.S. round-trip ticket price decreased from $476 in December 2019 to $336 in December 2020. 

Year over year, EMD sales for December decreased by 61% to $2,657,726, while EMD transactions were down 56% to 53,431. 

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About the author

Harry S. Johnson

Harry S. Johnson has been working in the travel industry for 20 years. He started his travel career as a flight attendant for Alitalia, and today, has been working for TravelNewsGroup as an editor for the last 8 years. Harry is an avid globetrotting traveler.