Winter destination travel is not the high demand airline ticket that summer airline tickets are, but a recent article in Frommer’s entitled, “Are High-Cost Airline Tickets the New Normal“, leads me to wonder whether record airfares for summer 2011 will carry over into winter 2011-2012? I don’t have a crystal ball, or even the tiniest bit of forecasting ability, but I can connect the dots from summer to winter and I think that most of the base reasons cited for higher summer airfares:

  • Consolidation
  • Bankruptcies
  • Airlines cutting capacities
  • The lack of new low-cost carriers
  • And the elephant not discussed in the article, but the volatility of the prices of jet fuel

For ski resorts, I’m not sold on the fact that cost of gasoline is going to have much impact of business levels, because we Americans are so hooked on our automobiles. However, I am not as sure that the cost impact of jet fuel on airlines ticket prices…see the chart below for the IATA – Platts jet fuel analysis week of March 30, and no I don’t understand most of the number, it’s pretty easy to see some dramatic numbers in the last two columns:

Jet Fuel Price Analysis

Whether or not this dramatic surge in jet fuel continues into next winter season, my personal guess is that the other factors in the mix will keep airfares high, and ski resorts will need to plan accordingly because if prices rise too high they could certainly impact destination visits and that is something that no one wants to see. What do you think?

Graphic credit: IATA – Platts