There will be an expected 4 per cent increase in the number of to fly globally on U.S. airlines between March 1 and April 30 this year compared to the same period last year and that number would be an all-time high at 150.7 million passengers or about 2.47 million per day according to the estimates of Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines. A year earlier in the same period, the number of passengers were 145 million.
About 114,000 seats per day across their networks is being added by airlines in the U.S. in order to cater to the demand for seats by an additional average of 94,000 passengers every day during the period.
“Travelers are taking to the skies this spring in record numbers, thanks to persistently low fares, unsurpassed levels of investment in the product, increasing competition, and unprecedented access for passengers of all regions, age groups, and income levels,” said A4A Vice President and Chief Economist John Heimlich. “An expanding economy, employment gains and surging household net worth are also contributing to the growth in demand for air travel. There has never been a better time to fly, as evidenced by the record number of 151 million flyers expected to travel this spring.”
2017 marked the safest year in history of US aviation even as the airlines carried a record number of passengers. The growth rate of the established brands was outstripped by the growth rate of the low-cost airlines as they entered even more markets which resulted in in intensified competition. this also resulted in the low-cost airlines offering low fares and increasing the number of available seats to reach an all-time high.
Compared to 1980, the prices for domestic tickets were 40 per cent lower in 2017. That price included ancillary services. The airlines have bene purchasing and taking deliveries a large number of crafts at the rate of one craft every day because of anticipated continued rising demands in 2018 This is the way the airlines are responding to the increase in passengers. They are also enhancing staffing levels.
Heavy investments are being made by airlines in the products and services and staff as a part of their response to rising demands in the U.S. The product and service improvements included new planes, in-flight WiFi and entertainment systems, renovated airport lounges and upgraded security lanes at airport checkpoints and the airlines as a whole spent about 75 percent of their operating cash flow or $102.4 billion for this purpose.
“Through high-quality, lucrative careers and significant economic stimulation around the country, U.S. passenger and cargo airlines are dedicated to investment in their people, products, and facilities. Airlines serve as valued partners to airports and will continue to do so, without the need for higher taxes on passengers or shippers,” continued Heimlich.
On the other hand, travelers had more options and fares were driven down by strong competition across the airline industry. More number of Americans than ever had taken to the skies in 2017 spurred on by the affordability of air travel. About 48 per cent of American flew in 2017 and 88 per cent flew at least once in their lifetime. In comparison, only 63 percent had flown in their lifetime and just 25 percent of Americans had taken a flight in 1977.
(Adapted from Businesswire.com)