The Air Transport Association (ATA) Office of Economics reports that average domestic airfares declined 3.8 percent and average international airfares rose 3.4 percent in January, compared to the same month in 2002. In January, the average fare for a 1,000-mile domestic trip was $119.41 (excluding taxes) and the average fare for a 4,000-mile international trip was $388.99 (excluding taxes).
January systemwide revenue passenger miles (RPMs) were up 6.2 percent, versus the same month in 2002. Revenue passenger mile is the industry term used to quantify the volume of business; one RPM equals one fare-paying passenger transported one mile. System-wide available seat miles (ASMs) increased 3.6 percent. Available seat mile is a standard unit of air transport passenger capacity, defined as one seat transported one mile.
“In January, the rate of passenger traffic growth was half that of December, in spite of lower domestic pricing,” said ATA Chief Economist David Swierenga. “With the threat of war looming, it has been difficult to recover the traffic lost after the 9/11 attacks. Rising energy costs, cutting into travelers’ incomes, are further dampening demand.”
The airfare report includes yearly and monthly average domestic coach-class and first/business-class ticket prices and domestic and international average ticket prices overall. Information in the report is compiled from actual prices paid by consumers, which are provided by air carriers to ATA. Airfares are normalized for a 1,000-mile trip domestically and a 4,000-mile trip internationally. The airfare information in this report does not include local, federal or foreign taxes.
Price changes are updated monthly and are compared to the same period of the previous year. Because of strong seasonal differences in airfares, month-to-month comparisons are less useful than comparisons for the same period a year earlier.
The Air Transport Association of America, Inc. is the trade association for leading U.S. airlines. ATA members transport 95 percent of all the passenger and cargo traffic in the United States.