Airlines Reporting Corp.-accredited air ticket sales in February increased more than 54 percent year over year to nearly $8.4 billion, making it the second-highest post-pandemic month for such sales, according to ARC. Only May 2022 had higher sales.
The number of total passenger trips settled in February increased nearly 13 percent year over year to nearly 22.4 million. International trip growth continued to outpace U.S. domestic trip gains, with the former up 29 percent for the period to nearly 8.9 million trips versus a 4 percent increase for the latter to nearly 13.5 million.
On a month-over-month basis, however, total sales were flat, while total passenger trips decreased 7 percent, according to ARC. The number of domestic trips declined 9 percent, while international trips decreased 3 percent.
Trips sold by U.S. travel agencies whose primary business model is managed corporate or government travel increased 42.2 percent year over year.
"Despite flat sales and decreases in passenger trips month over month, overall demand remains stronger than what we saw last year with international travel showing continued strength," ARC CCO Steve Solomon said in a statement. "February followed pre-pandemic seasonality trends, which could indicate further industry normalization as airlines prepare for the busy spring and summer travel months."
The average U.S. round-trip air ticket price was $571, up 23 percent year over year, and an 8 percent increase from January's $528 level.
February electronic miscellaneous document sales, which include fees for such ancillary products as upgraded seats and checked bags, increased 134 percent year over year to $21.8 million and were up about 7 percent from January's $20.4 million. Ancillary transactions increased 84 percent year over year to more than 325,000, representing a nearly 3 percent decrease from January.
RELATED: ARC: January Air Sales and Trips Up, Airfare Steady