Kiwi.com: Bookings for long-haul flights reach pre-pandemic levels
25 October 2022 – With the lift of restrictions and the opening of borders, the travel traffic from Europe has not only met but gone beyond 2019 volumes by 78%, Kiwi.com data shows. Short-haul flights (0–1499km) have seen an increase of 170%, while medium-haul flights (1500–3999km) – an increase of 70%. Due to lengthier restrictions and limited travel options, long-haul flights (4000km+) were lagging in popularity compared to short and medium-haul flights, but, have now met the pre-pandemic levels at 99.86%.
Ticket prices for short-haul flights remain 23% cheaper than pre-pandemic, while medium-haul flights are 6.7% cheaper. Prices for long-haul flights on the other hand are 16% more expensive than in 2019.
“Last year, the demand for long-haul flights was a quarter of the demand in 2019. This year we see long-haul meeting the pre-pandemic levels by 100%. The increased demand, in combination with the increased price of fuel, result in more expensive tickets. Shorter flights are less affected as the fuel is a smaller part of the ticket cost. On longer flights, the majority of the ticket cost is for fuel, and this difference in price becomes visible,” says Mario Gavira, VP of Growth at Kiwi.com.
The average booking window (the time in advance one buys their ticket) for long-haul flights this year is 32 days, thirteen days less than in 2019, with the majority – 35% – booking three weeks to two months in advance. Close to half (39%) of those booking return flights, stay for one to two weeks, 22% for two to three weeks and 19% for three weeks to two months.
The most popular long-haul destinations so far in 2022 are the US, Canada, the UAE, Mexico, India, Thailand, Australia, Indonesia and Colombia. New York, Dubai, Los Angeles, Toronto and Bangkok are the top five cities booked, and the majority of long-haul travels happened between July and September.
American, British, French, German and Spanish citizens were the nationalities opting for long-haul trips more frequently on Kiwi.com. Kiwi.com data also showed an increase in demand for long-haul travel by Ukrainian citizens as they fled the war.
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Kiwi.com is a leading global travel tech company headquartered in the Czech Republic, employing over 1,500 people worldwide. Kiwi.com’s innovative algorithm enables users to find better route options and prices other search engines can’t see, performing 2 billion price checks per day across 95% of global flight content. 100 million searches are carried out every day on Kiwi.com’s website and an average of over 50,000 seats are sold daily.
Elena Sokolnikova, PR & Communications Consultant, Kiwi.com