Demand for flat lines for air travel amid wave of delta variants

Southwest has reported an increase in cancellations due to the increase in COVID cases.

In its latest financial report, Southwest Airlines reported a recent increase in cancellations. The airline attributed them to the increase in COVID-19 cases as fears grow about the delta variant.

Travel booking site Hopper has seen domestic demand stagnate since July 4.

“What we saw was that mid-July was one of our best booking weeks,” said Hopper economist Adit Damodarn, “so domestic bookings were very strong in mid- July, but on the home front we’ve seen bookings been pretty stable since then. “

International bookings were hit hardest, Damodarn said, hitting lower than expected rates.

“I think there’s a lot going on here that makes people think twice before traveling,” Brett Snyder, founder of, told ABC News. “One of the big concerns of people going abroad is that even if you are vaccinated, the chances of getting an infection seem to increase. It may not be serious, but it means you may not be able to. -being not to come back to the US for a while just because of the testing requirement. So with that I think you scare some people. And then of course we just have the general concern of falling sick, to go to places where there are more viruses. “

Hopper noticed that more leaflets started to take out cancellation insurance for any reason in July.

“It’s up about 33% since early July,” Damodarn said. “So I think what we’re seeing here is a bit of hesitation, perhaps, on the part of the traveling users.”

And the airline prices are already starting to reflect the cessation of resumption of demand.

Average prices for air travel bookings, before fees, are currently down $ 76 from the end of June, according to travel itineraries app TripIt.

“We are seeing a significant drop in domestic and international air fares,” said Damodarn. “This is a bit more than the seasonality that we have seen in previous years, and so it would suggest that there is both the seasonal variation resulting from the peak summer travel season, as well as the impact of the delta variant. “

Sam Sweeney of ABC News contributed to this report.

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