Adobe Digital Economy Index: Flight bookings rebound in June

Image taken from below an airplane as it is flying in the sky.

Image Source: Adobe Stock / den-belitsky.

As restrictions eased and more consumers got vaccinated against COVID-19, flight bookings picked up in June 2021 following a dip the month prior. The uptick was the closest flight bookings have been to 2019 pre-pandemic levels. Adobe’s latest data and insights are below.

Domestic flight bookings drove $6.0 billion in online spend in June 2021. This represents a 17 percent increase over May 2021 ($5.1 billion) and only 5 percent below June 2019 spend.

From January to June of 2021, a total of $27.2 billion has been spent on domestic flights online. While this represents a 30 percent decrease compared to the same time period in 2019, it is an 8 percent increase over 2020 — when travel seemingly came to a standstill overnight.

Graph of Online US domestic flight revenue.

Flights have also picked up despite increasing prices, an indicator of pent-up consumer demand. In June 2021, prices were only 1 percent lower than they were in June 2019. In May 2021, prices were 8 percent lower vs 2019 (April: 13 percent lower — March: 17 percent lower — February: 26 percent lower — January: 28 percent lower).

Price trend for domestic flights.

Despite greater spending on travel, consumers have not held back spending for physical goods. Adobe’s latest eCommerce figures show that in June 2021, $73.4 billion were spent on online purchases, growing 76.7 percent compared to a pre-pandemic period (2019).

Additionally, we are also seeing interest in travel on a more local level, with consumers embracing the great outdoors. In June 2021, online sales of outdoor gear saw a large uptick, up 87 percent compared to a pre-pandemic period (2019). Tent and bicycle sales also grew 36 percent and 74 percent respectively in June 2021, when compared to last year (2020).

As we look ahead to July 2021, we expect to see a different trajectory. Peak Summer pricing, hamstrung business travel, and surges in the COVID-19 Delta variant will likely slow growth next month and keep domestic flight bookings from surging past pre-pandemic levels.

Methodology: The Adobe Digital Economy Index offers the most comprehensive set of insights of its kind, based on analysis through Adobe Analytics that covers over 150 billion visits to travel, leisure and hospitality sites — measuring transactions from 6 of the top 10 U.S. airlines (more than any other technology company). Commerce insights in the Adobe Digital Economy Index covers over one trillion visits to U.S. retail sites via Adobe Analytics and over 100 million SKUs in 18 product categories.