April 23, 2020 / 1:09 PM / 2 months ago

U.S. air fares extend decline as Europe and Asia bottom out: Skytra

FILE PHOTO: A member of a ground crew walks past American Airlines planes parked at the gate during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, U.S., April 5, 2020. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

PARIS (Reuters) - U.S. air fares are approaching a 40% decline and still falling while ticket pricing in Europe and Asia is bottoming out, according to data (here) published on Thursday by Skytra, an Airbus-owned (AIR.PA) airline-hedging business.

In the face of a widespread grounding of flights and coronavirus travel restrictions, airlines are offering heavy discounts on the services they are still running.

Average fares for flights within the U.S.-dominated North America region are down 37.8% since Jan. 1 despite very low traffic, according to a rolling average of economy fares as of April 15, extending the 28.8% plunge recorded a week earlier.

The year-to-date decline in intra-European fares, by contrast, improved slightly to 20.7% from 22%, while the average drop in Asia Pacific narrowed to 13% from 14.4%.

Average yields - a proxy for fares expressed in revenue per passenger kilometre - dropped to 9.3 U.S. cents in North America from 15.2 cents a year earlier. In Europe they fell to 14.2 cents from 19.9 cents. In Asia-Pacific they slipped to 9.7 cents from 11.9 cents.

Reporting by Laurence Frost; Editing by David Goodman

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