The cost of booking a flight surged last month by a degree never seen before.
The latest consumer price index released by the Labor Department on Wednesday shows the index for airline fares soared by 18.6% in April, which the agency says is the greatest month-over-month increase since the government began issuing the report in 1963.
Over the past year, the cost of a plane ticket is up 33.33%, the CPI showed.
The unprecedented price hike for airfare comes as the U.S. continues to grapple with ongoing sky-high inflation, and amid a surge in travel demand.
Consumer prices for everyday goods as a whole rose by 8.3% in April from a year ago, which is lower than the 8.5% year-over-year increase recorded in March but still hovering near a 40-year-high.
|AAL||AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC.||17.24||+1.11||+6.88%|
|DAL||DELTA AIR LINES INC.||40.83||+2.23||+5.78%|
|UAL||UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS INC.||46.07||+2.99||+6.94%|
|LUV||SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.||45.00||+2.55||+6.01%|
Meanwhile, consumers are ready to fly again as the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Delta Air Lines reported last month that it was seeing its highest booking volumes ever, and United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said in a news release that demand for travel is the "strongest" he has seen in his 30 years in the industry.
With demand on the rise as the summer travel season approaches, the industry is still facing several challenges.
"Between soaring prices, nationwide pilot shortages, and reliability issues it has been a challenging few months for commercial airlines," says Henry Kim, chief commercial officer at private aviation firm Jet It.
Kim told FOX Business, "It will be interesting to see how this impacts summer travel."
FOX Business' Megan Henney contributed to this report.