An additional 94,000 passengers every day are expected on US airlines; domestic fares including ancillary are 40% less than in 1980.
An all-time high of 150.7 million passengers – 2.47 million per day – are expected to fly globally on US airlines between March 1 and April 30, according to Airlines for America, or A4A, a trade body for the leading US airlines.
This is a 4% increase on the 145 million passengers witnessed in spring 2017 and averages out at 94,000 additional passengers per day.
To prepare for the expected increase, the airlines are adding 114,000 seats per day across their networks.
“Travellers 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,” explains John Heimlich, A4A vice president and chief economist.
“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.”
Keeping fares low
Competition continues to intensify as low-cost carriers enter even more markets in the US and grow at a rate far outpacing more established brands, keeping fares fairly low and boosting the number of available seats to an all-time high.
In 2017, domestic airfares – including ancillary services – were over 40% less than they were in 1980. As demand continues to rise in 2018, airlines are responding by boosting staffing levels and taking new aircraft deliveries at the rate of about one plane per day.