Travel demand has bounced back faster than expected this year, major airlines said Tuesday, a welcome trend for an industry battered by Covid and a sign that carriers expect to pass along higher fuel prices and other costs on to customers.

U.S. jet fuel prices last week surged to 2008 highs, propelled by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which sparked worries about scarcer crude supplies as countries sanctioned the oil producer. Though jet fuel prices have eased, they’re still up 35% so far this year.

The mix of stronger demand and higher costs is promising more expensive tickets, which were already on the rise before Russia’s attack on Ukraine and generally rise during peak spring and summer travel periods.

“We are very, very confident of our ability to recapture over 100% of the fuel price run-up in the second quarter and through probably the end of the summer,” Delta Air Lines President Glen Hauenstein said during a JPMorgan investor conference. read more