As a result of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, air ticket sales dropped by almost 90 percent in March.
According to data from Airlines Reporting Corporation, ARC-accredited travel agencies experienced an 86 percent decrease in air ticket sales in March, year-over-year, with travel restrictions and economic struggles as the main culprits.
As a result, the consolidated dollar value of tickets sold by agencies last month decreased to $1.3 billion, an $8 billion drop when compared to March 2019. ARC also reported the total number of passenger trips settled for its agency customers decreased by 62 percent.
In addition, the report found U.S. domestic trips decreased by 59 percent to 7.4 million when compared to 2019, while international trips were down 67 percent, totaling 3.7 million.
The average price for a roundtrip ticket in the U.S. also dropped dramatically from $487 in 2019 to $377 in March.
When compared to February, the number of passenger trips in March fell by 55 percent, with domestic flights dropping by 53 percent and international journeys declining by 52 percent.
Last week, ARC it would not be taking action against clients regarding debit memos involving flight cancellations or passenger compensation disputes caused by the viral pandemic.
Airlines received good news recently after they accepted a share in the $25 billion Payroll Support Program. While the money should help carriers navigate the impact of the coronavirus, longtime discount-airline investor Bill Franke said the airlines need more government aid and health checks for travelers to get through the crisis.
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