The TSA security lines in the main terminal are crowded with travelers in Denver, Colorado.
Photograph by George Rose — Getty Images
By Jonathan Chew
March 9, 2016

Around 140 million passengers are expected to fly over March and April, as a record number of flyers take advantage of cheaper fares and more planes.

The expected number of flyers is around 2.8% higher than the same period last year, and represents the highest figure ever recorded for spring air travel, said Airlines For America in a report released Wednesday.

Every day, the airline trade group expects 2.3 million passengers to fly. Over the entire spring season, 17 million travelers are forecasted on international flights.

“The continued growth in passenger volumes can be attributed to the accessibility and affordability of air travel today,” said John Heimlich, the group vice president and chief economist. “To meet the extra demand, airlines are deploying new and larger aircraft on many routes.”

 

In Airlines For America’s assessment of the airline industry last year, it notes that airfares across 10 major carriers—including American Airlines (aal), Delta Air Lines (dal) and United Airlines (ual)—had dropped by 5.1% in 2015 when compared to 2014.

The association also noted that the 10 carriers enjoyed pre-tax total earnings of $23.2 billion, as lower fuel costs were reducing their operating expenditure. The airlines had also increased their capacity for more passengers, as they took delivery of 388 new aircraft in 2015, and had placed $86 billion worth of orders for aircraft to be delivered in 2016 and later.

However, the trend of cheaper fares on the back of lower oil prices could soon be ending, according to The Wall Street Journal. “Investors are increasingly concerned low fuel prices are driving some carriers to drop the capacity discipline and pricing power that helped the industry generate a record profit of almost $19 billion last year,” the Journal reported.

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