Airlines bump ticket prices in response to high fuel costs

A Delta Airlines Boeing 757 seen from the National Mall in Washington, D.C., makes its final descent into Ronald Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Va., on July 14
Greg Nash

As airlines have increased their prices amid rising fuel costs, the demand for flights remains higher than ever. 

Delta Air Lines will raise ticket prices by about 10 percent each way to cover the rising fuel prices, while United and Southwest Airlines also said they have raised the ticket prices, according to Reuters.

“We can make money at oil prices of $100 a barrel or higher, and we will,” Chief Executive of American Airlines Doug Parker said, noting that he was not at “a point of nervousness” over the spiking prices, Reuters reported.

But despite the rise in prices, Delta said it was seeing “unparalleled” demand, an assessment echoed by the other major airlines. Last week, Delta recorded its highest ticket sales of all time, the news service added.

“We’ve not seen a stronger demand … in my career,” Delta Chief Executive Ed Bastian said. 

United and American Airlines also reported demand at higher-than-ever demand for flights.

The industry’s success comes after President Biden placed a ban on Russian oil, natural gas and coal imports because of Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine. 

The White House has squarely blamed the Russian leader for what it called the “Putin spike” in global energy costs, as he wages an increasingly deadly war against Ukraine. 

Yet even as Russia’s unprovoked invasion has disrupted air traffic in Eastern Europe, flights to elsewhere in Europe remain in demand. 

Delta said it had seen no impact on flight reservations to Europe, and JetBlue Chief Executive Robin Hayes reported a “spectacular” rebound for flights between the U.S. and U.K., Reuters reported. 

The airline industry typically offsets high fuel costs with pricier bookings, as fuel generally ranks as its second most significant expense behind only labor.

Tags air travel flights Fuel prices Joe Biden UKRAINE RUSSIA

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