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.

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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.

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