ARC: 2023 U.S.-Based Air Sales Near 2019 Record

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U.S.-based agency air tickets sales in 2023 reached $95.3 billion, a 16 percent increase year over year, and the highest since the record $97.4 billion reported in 2019, Airlines Reporting Corp. announced Thursday.

Total 2023 passenger trips were up 9 percent year over year to 268.5 million. Domestic trips increased 5 percent to 167.1 million, while international trips were up 15 percent to 101.4 million.

“2023 was a pivotal year for air travel as U.S. travel agencies and their partners responded to growing traveler demand and significant shifts in airlines’ distribution strategies,” ARC chief commercial officer Steve Solomon said in a statement. “It was also a year where travelers continued to combine corporate and leisure trips and spend more on ancillary products and services. The industry focus changed from post-pandemic recovery to meeting the needs of travelers to this new operating environment.”

December U.S.-based ticket sales were nearly $5.8 billion, up 4.7 percent compared with December 2022, though the total was 14.7 percent lower than November 2023. Total passenger trips reached nearly 16.9 million, a 3.8 percent increase year over year, and a 17.6 percent decrease month over month.

December trips followed the same pattern. Domestic trips were up 2.2 percent year over year to about 10.1 million, but down 21.7 percent from November 2023, while international trips totaled nearly 6.8 million, a 6.2 percent increase year over year, but a 10.8 percent decline from November.

The average price of a U.S. domestic roundtrip ticket was $542, representing a 2 percent increase from December 2022, but a 1 percent decline month over month.

Last year’s electronic miscellaneous document sales, which include fees for such ancillary products as upgraded seats and checked bags, increased 71 percent over 2022 to $280.1 million. In December 2023, such sales were up 31.6 percent year over year to $20.6 million, but down 8.5 percent month over month.

Total EMD transactions for 2023 were more than 4.3 million, up 56.1 percent over 2022 figures. For December, they were up 36.4 percent year over year to nearly 330,000 but were down 13.2 percent from November 2023.

RELATED: ARC: November Average U.S. Airfares Continue Decline

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