Delta, other airline fares soar to record high in April

The Labor Department said prices jumped 18.6% in one month

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. 

Boeing airlines fares

Boeing 737-500 on final-approach landing with flaps deployed at dusk. ((Photo by: aviation-images.com/Universal Images Group via Getty Images) / Getty Images)

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.

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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.

travel airport airlines

Airline passengers wait at a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint to clear security before boarding to flights in the airport terminal in Denver, Colorado on April 19, 2022. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
AAL AMERICAN AIRLINES GROUP INC. 17.24 +1.11 +6.88%
DAL DELTA AIR LINES INC. 40.84 +2.22 +5.74%
UAL UNITED AIRLINES HOLDINGS INC. 46.07 +2.99 +6.94%
LUV SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO. 45.11 +2.64 +6.22%

Meanwhile, consumers are ready to fly again as the country emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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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.

airlines

Travelers walk through in Salt Lake City International Airport,  (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer / AP Newsroom)

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"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.