January US Travel Agency Air Ticket Sales Show Strong Month-Over-Month Growth

Total Passenger Trips, Net Sales Increase Over 20% Since December

ARLINGTON, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC) today released data showing net sales from ARC-accredited travel agencies totaling $1.3 billion in January 2021, up 21% compared to December 2020. The increase reflects positive trends for travel later in the year based on purchase trends. The January total represents an 86% drop year over year compared to January 2020, when net sales totaled $8.8. billion.*

Month over month, January 2021 results showed:

  • Total passenger trips increased 23%;
  • U.S. domestic trips up 31%; and
  • International trips up 8%.

“January 2020 was the last month before COVID-19 started to impact the air travel industry, so the year-over-year decrease isn’t surprising given continued travel restrictions and vaccine availability,” said Chuck Thackston, ARC’s managing director of data science and research. “Our current data shows both leisure and corporate travel recovering substantially in the fall of 2021.”

Total passenger trips settled by ARC in January were down 72% year over year, from 28,349,999 to 7,997,476. U.S. domestic trips were down 69% to 5.5 million, and international trips down 77% to 2.4 million YOY. The average U.S. round-trip ticket price decreased from $478 in January 2020 to $335 in January 2021.

Year over year, EMD sales for January decreased by 71% to $2,518,300, while EMD transactions were down 66% to 50,298.

More detailed information is available on ARC’s website.

About ARC:

As a leader in air travel intelligence and omnichannel retailing, ARC provides platforms, tools and insights that help the global travel community connect, grow and thrive. ARC enables the diverse retailing strategies of its customers by providing innovative technology, flexible settlement solutions and access to the world’s most comprehensive air transaction dataset. In 2019, ARC managed more than $97.4 billion in transactions between airlines and travel agencies, representing more than 302 million passenger trips. For more information, please visit arccorp.com.

Notes for Editors:

*Ticket Sales

  • Results are based on monthly sales data ending January 31, 2021, from 11,089 U.S. retail and corporate travel agency locations, satellite ticket printing offices and online travel agencies. Results do not include sales of tickets purchased directly from airlines.
  • Average ticket price (in USD) for a round-trip ticket settled through ARC for an itinerary that included only U.S. domestic travel.
  • Passenger trips include the total number of passengers taking a trip from one airport to another using either direct or connecting flights. Newly issued trips are added, and refunded trips are deducted to provide a net view of traveling passengers.
  • U.S. Domestic passenger trips include the total number settled through ARC where the itinerary is wholly within the U.S. International passenger trips include the total number settled through ARC where some or all of the travel occurs to airports outside the U.S. or originates outside the U.S.
  • Total sales are equal to the total amount paid for a ticket, which includes taxes and fees.

**Electronic Miscellaneous Documents (EMD)

  • Includes fees for products and services such as upgraded seats, checked luggage, an unaccompanied minor, pet-in-cabin, etc.

© Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC). All rights reserved.


Randy Spoon