Airfares continued their decline in May, dropping 1.9% from
April, according to Consumer Price Index data. Year over year, airfares were
down 6.6% in May.
Last month's decline followed the 2.7% drop in ticket prices
between March and April. The month-to-month statistics factor in adjustments
used by economists to account for the impact that changes in the season have
historically had on fares.
Airfare price drops have persisted even though year-over-year
crude oil prices rose nearly 39% on May 31. Year-to-date through April, U.S.
carriers paid 23% more per gallon for jet fuel than they paid in 2017.
Higher prices are denting profits. IATA projects that U.S.
airlines will record net income of $15 billion this year, down from $18.4
billion in 2017.