Average Airfare between New York and London, 1946-2015

Average Airfare roundtrip between New York and London 1946 2012 in 2012 dollars

Source: expanded from Bowen, J. (2004) “World-Shapers: The Geographical Implications of Several Influential Jet Aircraft”, paper presented at the 2004 Conference of the American Association of Geographers. Note: In 2012 dollars. Roundtrip.

The New York – London air route is heavily traveled and competitive. Airfares along that route had substantially declined, especially from the 1970s when they declined by two-thirds. The main reasons behind this decline are related to better and higher capacity aircrafts (especially the B747 with its economies of scale), improvements in fuel efficiency, general economic improvements (higher incomes and more demand) as well as the deregulation of the industry enabling higher competition, more frequent services, and more flexibility for scheduling (from the 1980s). Thus, air travel shifted from being a mode available only for the wealthy to a mode affordable to the masses. However, there are indications that airfares are unlikely to drop further despite improvements in aircraft design, fuel efficiency, and safety. Fuel prices and airport congestion are important cost factors that have put pressure on airfares.