The Tortured Lengths the Airline Industry Will Go To Avoid Admitting Higher Fares = Less Travel

Former Air France KLM CEO and current head of trade association IATA, the International Air Transport Association, explains slower growth in airline passenger travel,

The slowdown was “likely owing to the anticipated reduced demand boost from lower airfares due to rising airline cost pressures,” IATA DG and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said, adding that “heightened uncertainty about trade policies and mounting protectionist policies may also be having an impact.”

IATA data showed that worldwide growth in airline passenger numbers was at an 8 month low in September. This is because of a reduction in the increase that was driven by lower fares. In other words it’s because of higher fares.

I think “anticipated reduced demand boost from lower airfares due to rising airline cost pressures” may be my favorite phrase ever, and is definitely the best way anyone has ever said that “when airfares go up people scale back on the trips they would have taken.”

While United Airlines President Scott Kirby says demand for air travel is inelastic and that fares in the U.S. should be twice as high as they are today, airline industry data suggests that travelers pull back as fares begin to rise. In other news the sky is blue.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I love higher airfares that should double
    as much as like my plane to crash and fall off the top of a skyscraper
    And being United like American spends its money so wisely with spectacular downgrades to their planes and FF programs they should o this at once and see how it works for them
    .I’m still waiting to be hung by a hook like true cattle or travel like a VIP in cargo class as an employee recently did asleep
    .I’d like to insist they personally double all my fares for their well deserved
    20 million dollar plus parachutes 😉 🙂
    As they are so good at running an airline

  2. Kirby must go. That psychopath shouldn’t be the head of a janitors closet, let alone an airline. He belongs in a mental institution. Worse than Smisek.

  3. I live in a capital city and therefore quite familiar (if not comfortable) with politicians talk, but this sentence takes the cake today: “anticipated reduced demand boost from lower airfares due to rising airline cost pressures”. Wow! 🙂

  4. Given that the strategy of AF for the last several years has been to increase prices until they make money, this sort of thinking is not that surprising.

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