Hopper analysis: Europe airfares are up, demand is down: Travel Weekly

Budget airfares from the U.S. to Europe have increased 16% since the second week of February, according to an analysis by price-predicting and travel-booking app Hopper. 

However, demand for Europe has dropped since Russia invaded Ukraine. Since Feb. 24, GDS searches for flights between the U.S. and Europe have dropped 9% from Hopper’s forecast level. 

  • Related: Budget fares may rise, but factors could blunt the impact

Hopper, which defines budget fares as those that are lower than 90% of the fare quotes it tracks, said that the average budget fare from the U.S. to Europe is currently $770 roundtrip. In 2019, airfare to Europe remained level over that same period. Hopper said the increase was seen across most countries in Europe. 

“These increases are likely primarily attributable to a combination of improving international travel demand post-omicron and regular seasonality,” wrote Hopper senior analyst Adit Damodaran in a report published on March 8. “While higher jet fuel prices from the Russia-Ukraine war are likely to create additional upward pressure on airfare, the impact is likely lagged and not represented in these particular increases.”

  • Related: War in Ukraine troubles many travelers with Europe plans

However, Damodaran did note that U.S. jet fuel prices have risen 30% already this year, while budget domestic airfare has risen 27%, from an average of $236 round-trip to an average of $300. He estimated that approximately one-third to one-fourth of that increase can be attributed to the rise in the cost of jet fuel.

Hopper said that flight bookings to Europe surged from 15% of its outbound U.S.-origin bookings in mid-January to 21% on Feb. 12. Since then, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has played out, Europe has slipped back to 15% of Hopper’s outbound U.S. reservations, with more bookings shifting toward Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

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