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U.S. air travel shows signs of healthy recovery

Konstantin Sheiko
May 24, 2018

America is slowly, but surely recovering from the aftershocks of global financial crises that have repeatedly rocked the economy since 2008. The economy has bounced back, and is currently growing along with household net worth.

As a result, passengers are taking advantage of persistently low airfares for their summer travel plans, and plan to travel more than they have in the past. Industry trade organisation Airlines for America announced yesterday (23.05.) that it expects a record 246.1 million passengers to travel on United States airlines this summer. 

Between June 1 and August 31, Airlines for America revealed an average of 2.68 million travellers per day will take to the skies, an increase of 3.7 percent from last year's record 237.3 million passengers. To deal with the expected rise in air traffic, carriers are adding 116,000 seats per day to accommodate the 96,000 additional daily passengers. 

The positive outlook also comes after a strong first quarter of 2018. The airline industry saw a drop in customer complaints, the lowest-ever rate of involuntarily denied boardings, improved on-time arrival rates and slight dips in flight completion and properly handled bag rates.  

However, while the U.S. airline industry is currently thriving, the rising cost of fuel and labor have caused revenue to be outpaced by expenses, resulting in a decline in profitability. Despite the financial issues, airfare remains low due to competition between carriers. 

Leisure travellers continue to rank affordability at the top of their priority list, followed by flight schedule, on-time reliability and seat comfort. The reasonable ticket prices have led to more than three million daily seats departing from U.S. airports, up 3.3 percent year over year.