Why are flights more expensive in the US?

Even though flights across Europe and the US are flown in similar planes across similar distances, airfares in the US are substantially more expensive; why so?
in 2019, the average US airfare was $356, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. In comparison, for an intra European flight such as Paris to Barcelona, we see that fares can be found for as low as $24. This is not a rare occurrence.

It is common to find flights that are under $ 25 all across Europe. Ryanair's average airfare in 2019 was $42 and easyJet's was $67. These lower prices also include legacy carriers such as Lufthansa at $203 and the IAG Group at $217. All of these well established airlines have average prices that are considerably less than the average ticket price in the US.

Why is this? There are actually more reasons for this than you might think. In this video, I discuss some of the drivers, including:

  • Market structure / level of competition
  • Number of hub airports
  • Average seat capacity
  • Number of connections per airport
  • Population density
  • Availability of alternative infrastructure (e.g. trains)

Please let me know what you think in the comments section of the video.
Why are flights more expensive in the US?
Learn about why airfares in the US are more expensive on average compared to those in Europe
JULY 22, 2020
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