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ARC: US travel agencies airline ticket sales decline 86% in March

ARC: US travel agencies airline ticket sales decline 86% in March

Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) today released data showing that ARC-accredited travel agencies experienced an 86% year-over-year decrease in air ticket sales during March amid economic shutdowns and border closures brought on by COVID-19. The consolidated dollar value of tickets sold by agencies last month totaled $1.3 billion, an $8 billion decrease when compared to March 2019.

With domestic and global travel impacted by government actions around the world, the total number of passenger trips settled by ARC in March for its agency customers decreased 62% YOY from 29,159,102 to 11,139,536. U.S. domestic trips decreased by 59% YOY to 7.4 million, while international trips were down 67%, totaling 3.7 million. The average U.S. round-trip ticket price was down from $487 in 2019 to $377 in March 2020.

Month over month, March 2020 results reflect:

  • An 82% decline in sales, from $7.2 billion to $1.3 billion;
  • A 55% decrease in number of passenger trips; and
  • A 53% decline in U.S. domestic trips and a 52% decline in international trips.

Electronic Miscellaneous Document (EMD) sales also showed a decrease YOY, albeit not as steep, down 48% to $4 million. EMD transaction volume decreased by 53.2% over March 2019, totaling 55,164.