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Airline 'ticket prices this summer at a historic low': travel expert

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Boeing (BA) has been struggling to recover from two fatal crashes overseas involving its 737 Max 8 jets and win back the public’s trust. The good news is consumers don’t have to worry too much about how the plane manufacturer’s woes will affect airfare.

One travel expert, Liana Corwin from Hopper Consumer Travel, said all the Boeing news will have little impact on summer travel and consumers shouldn’t worry about it, especially for high demand routes like New York to Los Angeles.

“We’re actually seeing ticket prices this summer at a historic low. Overall, it’s better flying conditions for consumers,” Corwin told Yahoo Finance On the Move, adding that overall flight prices are down 7% in May compared to the same time two years ago.

“Less than 1% of the volume of seats flying were impacted by the grounding of the Boeing 737,” she said, pointing to the Pittsburgh to Los Angeles route which was temporarily suspended by Southwest Airlines because it’s a low demand route.

“Really the only routes that we could possibly see price impact are the ones where routes have been temporarily suspended,” Corwin said. Roughly 0.45% of daily domestic flights are impacted by the Max 8 suspension.

Instead, “ticket prices will be dictated by larger economic factors,”

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are parked on the tarmac after being grounded, at the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, California on March 28, 2019. - After two fatal crashes in five months, Boeing is trying hard -- very hard -- to present itself as unfazed by the crisis that surrounds the company. The company's sprawling factory in Renton, Washington is a hive of activity on this sunny Wednesday, March 28, 2019, during a tightly-managed media tour as Boeing tries to communicate confidence that it has nothing to hide. Boeing gathered hundreds of pilots and reporters to unveil the changes to the MCAS stall prevention system, which has been implicated in the crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia, as part of a charm offensive to restore the company's reputation. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are parked on the tarmac after being grounded, at the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, California on March 28, 2019. (Photo by Mark RALSTON / AFP) (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Corwin said factors such as oil prices matters most when it comes to airline ticket pricing. Short-term jet fuel prices fell just under 1% in May, according to Hopper’s most recent data.

So, what else should consumers be paying attention to?

Low-cost airline capacity has been increasing, Corwin said, which is also good news for consumers when it comes to ticket prices.

“Every time we see low-cost carriers enter a market, we actually see the market rate adjust to drop a little bit lower than it previously was,” Corwin said. “Even when prices start to even out, they stay lower than before the low-cost carrier entered.”

Marabia Smith is a producer for Yahoo Finance On the Move.