US airlines group expecting busiest summer travel season ever
A record number of travelers will be taking to the skies in the coming summer, all because of a rebounding economy.
On Monday, Airlines for America, the industry's trade and lobbying group predicted that US airlines will carry 222 million passengers between June 1 and August 31, and will top the summer of 2007 when 217.6 million people flew. That figure also included 31 million travelers on international flights, which was also a record.
On average, there will be 2.4 million passengers per day, which is 4.5% more than last summer.
After many years of limiting their expansion, US airlines has now started quickly adding more seats, including 4.6% more this summer. Most of the seats have been added as the result of airlines flying larger planes and packing in extra rows to existing jets.
Those extra seats have given pause to some Wall Street analysts, worrying that airlines might have to discount fares to fill them. Such a thing hasn’t happened yet, but, a tiny bit of relief for fliers will come this summer with $2.01 in savings to be exact, after few years of steadily rising airfares.
Presently the average roundtrip domestic ticket this summer, including taxes, stands at $454. This amount is down less than a percent as compared to last summer. According to the Airlines Reporting Corp., which processes ticket transactions for airlines and travel agencies, the vacationers to Europe will fare better, with the average ticket down 3% to $1,619, about $50 less than last summer.
This summer is going to be one of the most difficult times to fly. Although airlines can plan days in advance for blizzards, yet it is going to be hard to know exactly when a thunderstorm will roll through an airport, shutting down all baggage handling and flights.
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