U.S. travel agencies sold $9.6 billion worth of air tickets in March 2023, marking a 22% year-over-year increase and the largest monthly total ever recorded by the Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC).
ARC this week said that the ticket sales data was boosted by international travel in particular—while total passenger trips settled by ARC in March increased 4% year over year, international trips increased 17%. Domestic trips, on the other hand, decreased by 4% over the same period.
Those numbers were also boosted by a rise in ancillary sales, which increased 127% year over year to $26,685,399.
The price of tickets also contributed, but not nearly as much as either international or ancillary sales. According to ARC, the average U.S. round-trip air travel ticket price was $559 in March, a 4% increase from the previous year and 2% month-over-month decrease from February.
Steve Solomon, chief commercial officer at ARC, pointed to that international travel boost in a statement on Thursday.
“ARC’s air travel ticket data supports what we’re hearing from airlines regarding strong spring and summer demand for both corporate and leisure travel,” said Steve Solomon, chief commercial officer at ARC.
“A larger portion of the summer demand is for top European destinations like London, Paris, and Rome, which are showing significant year-over-year increases in air travel ticket purchases from U.S. travelers.”