Consumer Airfare Index - July 2020

July airfare drops to lowest point in 3+ years as travel bookings increase 195% since April lows

Hayley Berg - Jun. 25, 2020

Today, Hopper releases its first Consumer Airfare Index since COVID-19 impacted the travel industry in unprecedented ways.

As the world continues its process of reopening, interest from travelers is growing, according to data from Hopper. While travel still remains down year-over-year as varied levels of restrictions remain in place for much of the world, Hopper has seen bookings on the app increase 195% since the low point in April - suggesting an upward trend as pent up demand is able to be realized.

Americans are shifting their focus towards domestic and regional destinations this summer, a marked change from the typical popularity of this time of year for longer haul flights. With continued uncertainty around border restrictions in places like the EU, many are turning their attention closer to home to avoid possible changes in plans.

The good news for domestic travelers is that July airfare is down 40% compared to the same time last year and is expected to remain lower than 2019 levels throughout the summer. Some US destinations are discounted by as much as 50% off 2019 prices. While jet fuel prices have begun to recover from their unprecedented drop, data shows that prices bottomed out in April when they fell 80% compared to the start of 2020.

As always, when travelers get back to the skies is a personal decision. When they do, they will find summer deals unlike those seen in the past three years.

Summary

  • Airfare for travel in July 2020 dropped 40% compared to this time last year, averaging $186 per ticket for domestic round trip airfare. 

  • Airfare is expected to remain lower than 2019 levels through the summer, as airlines are pricing fares low to continue incentivizing travel as demand begins to recover from lows during the early spread of covid-19.

  • Jet fuel prices recovered 31.4% in the most recent month of reporting data compared to the previous month, to $0.94/gal. Prices in recent weeks have been recovering from the unprecedented drop in demand in April of this year, and remain 47.8% lower than the same time last year. Jet fuel prices bottomed out in early April of this year, falling 80% compared to prices at the start of 2020. 

  • As Americans plan travel for summer there has been a significant shift towards more domestic and regional destinations, replacing longer haul trips to destinations like Europe and Asia which have been historically more popular in the summer months. Deals up to 50% off 2019 prices are available to many trending domestic and regional destinations.

Airfare Pricing

Six Month Pricing Table

Table 1: Current prices for round trip domestic travel through the end of 2020, compared to prices at the same time in last year through the end of 2019.

Domestic Consumer Airfare Prices (1)

Figure 1: Prices for round trip domestic travel this year compared to the previous 3 years, showing consistent year to year price declines from 2017 to 2019, followed by incredibly low prices in 2020.

Jet Fuel Update

Jet Fuel Prices Short Range

Figure 2: Jet fuel prices recovered 31.4% in the most recent month of reporting data compared to the previous month, to $0.94/gal. Prices in recent weeks have been recovering from the unprecedented drop in demand in April of this year, and remain 47.8% lower than the same time last year. 

Jet Fuel Prices Long Range (1)

Figure 3: A longer range view shows that jet fuel prices were growing again since a drop in 2015 until April of this year, when the global pandemic caused a demand shock to the oil industry and drove prices down 80% over the course of 12 weeks. 

Top Deal Destinations for July Travel

As travel begins to rebound in the wake of covid-19 many Americans are looking forward to taking vacations or planning getaways to destinations around the United States. We’ve monitored the destinations where consumer demand is growing and where travelers can find amazing deals and ranked them here. These are the top 10 trending destinations for July 2020 travel that offer lower prices than ever before.

Domestic Price Drops

Table 2: Top Domestic destinations trending on Hopper for July 2020 travel, as well as the current good deal round trip price and percent change compared to the same time in 2019. 

International deals abound for those willing to travel further afield. With countries closer to the US beginning to open their borders, expect more deals to incentivize travelers. Due to shifting travel restrictions, all travelers should check current policies both before purchasing and before traveling.

International Price Drops

Table 3: Top Domestic international trending on Hopper for July 2020 travel, as well as the current good deal round trip price and percent change compared to the same time in 2019. Check destination country rules and regulations for international travelers before booking any travel.

Methodology

The data utilized for this study comes from Hopper's real-time "shadow traffic" containing the results of consumer airfare searches. Hopper collects, from several Global Distribution System partners, 25 to 30 billion airfare price quotes every day from searches happening all across the web. The prices reflected in this analysis are Hopper’s “good deal price” which represents what a typical leisure traveler should expect to pay, measured using a “tenth percentile.” Booking data is from bookings made on the Hopper app through June 8, 2020.

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