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Airfare prices dropped: 10 reasons it might not last

By Jake Beardslee · February 13, 2024

Airfare fell 6.4% in January from a year earlier, according to the Labor Department. However, analysts say this drop may not last for long.  

Seasonal factors

January is typically slower for travel after the winter holidays. Demand usually increases during school breaks and spring.  Brett Sayles/Pexels

Capacity constraints

Carriers face constraints from issues like engine recalls and delays, yet executives forecast robust demand domestically and internationally.  Maria Tyutina/Pexels

Analyst perspective

One analyst said capacity declines stem from "artificial constraints" that will persist, so fares may improve as demand remains high, according to CNBC.  Connor Danylenko/Wikimedia

Adjusted forecasts

One analyst said capacity declines stem from "artificial constraints" that will persist, so fares may improve as demand remains high.  Pixabay/Pexels

Adjusted forecasts

Southwest and Alaska moderated capacity growth forecasts due to issues like engine problems and delayed aircraft.  Tom├ís Del Coro from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA/Wikimedia

Rising fares expected

Hopper expects "good deal" domestic fares to average $276 in February but rise over 9% to $302 in May.  Anna Shvets/Pexels

Lingering supply challenges

Delta's CEO said aircraft repairs and suppliers haven't recovered fully from pandemic losses of experience.  Mertbiol/Wikimedia

Recent grounding

Boeing Max 9 planes were grounded, slightly reducing Alaska and United capacity until returning in January.  Hampie/Pexels

Production oversight

The FAA will oversee Boeing manufacturing due to the grounding and potential future delays.  Md Shaifuzzaman Ayon/Wikimedia

Capacity adjustment

Alaska adjusted capacity growth projections down slightly due to the Max grounding and delays.  Noah Wulf/Wikimedia

Industry challenges ahead

United's CEO expects a difficult 2024 as carriers deal with hiring, maintenance and supply issues.  JJ Jordan/Pexels