Airfares dropped significantly in December, even when adjusted for typical seasonal variations.
According to Consumer Price Index data released by the Labor Department on Thursday, December airfares were down 8.2% from the prior month. When adjusted for seasonality, the decline was 3.1%.
The drop followed seasonally adjusted declines of 3% in November and 1.1% in October.
Still, airfares in December were 28.5% higher than December 2021, the Consumer Price Index shows.
The price drop did not appear to slow down American Airlines in the fourth quarter. AA submitted a regulatory filing Thursday reporting that total revenue for the quarter will be up an estimated 16% to 17% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. In earlier guidance, American had expected revenue to be 11% to 13% above the 2019 level.
American says its operating margin for the fourth quarter will be 10.25% to 10.5%, up from its previous guidance of 5.5% to 7.5%.