US airline trade organization Airlines for America (A4A) expects an all-time high of 150.7 million passengers – 2.47 million per day – to fly globally on US carriers between 1 March and 30 April.
This would be a four per cent increase from 145 million passengers in the spring of 2017. To prepare for the expected increase, which averages 94,000 additional passengers per day, airlines are adding 114,000 seats per day across their networks.
A4A vice president and chief economist, John Heimlich said: “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.
“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.”
A4A said in 2017, airlines transported a record number of passengers and marked the safest year in aviation history. Competition continued to intensify as low-cost carriers entered even more markets and grew at a rate far outpacing more established brands, keeping fares low and boosting the number of available seats to an all-time high.
In 2017, domestic airfares – including ancillary services – were over 40 per cent less than in 1980. And as demand continues to rise in 2018, airlines are responding by boosting staffing levels and taking new aircraft deliveries at the rate of approximately one per day.