Jet shortage, travel demand could keep fares high

Holidays

The deals, said to be part of Southwest’s “largest winter sale of the year,” are available on flights leaving from a number of major U.S. hubs. (Getty Images)

(NewsNation) — On the cusp of the holiday travel season, a growing number of major airlines are sounding the alarm about a plane shortage.

Airlines are saying that they can’t get enough new jets fast enough to keep up with travelers’ demands, which could be one of the factors that keep prices higher for a while.

It is not the news travelers want to hear right before the holiday travel season ramps up.

Despite inflation and concerns of a potential recession, major airlines have reported record travel numbers this summer and fall.

Short staffing has been a recent content for airlines with not enough pilots, not enough flight attendants, and now, not enough planes.

Southwest joined American, United and Jet Blue in expressing concern about a delay in getting new jets from Boeing or Airbus.

As Southwest released its third-quarter report this week, the CEO says they think the plane shortage will go into next year.

NewsNation reached out to Boeing and Airbus for a comment and have yet to hear back.

Boeing’s CEO wrote in its Q3 report that it is chalking up some of the issues to supply chain constraints.

Plane ticket prices are already up more than $40 this year, according to the latest inflation report.

Holiday travel prices are right on par with that.

According to Hopper, the average cost of a plane ticket for Thanksgiving is $350, up 43% from last year.

And Christmas plane tickets are up $463, up 39% from last year.

This year’s price hike is more because of pilot and worker shortages … and we will see the impact of plane shortages next year.

According to Clint Henderson, managing editor of news for “The Points Guy,” this year’s price hike is more due to worker shortages and the delay in getting planes but that’s something we’ll see down the road.

“It’s not impacting this Christmas that much this year,” he said. “But it will start to have a real impact going forward especially as they get more pilots trained and there will be more pilots available there won’t be enough planes for the pilots.”

Some airlines say it could be years before they are back up and running to pre-pandemic levels. Southwest says it hopes it will be by the end of next year.

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