US Christmas holiday air travel slightly reduced for 2012

13 December 2012 16:46  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Nearly 42m passengers will fly on US airlines during the 2012 Christmas holiday season, which is approximately a 1% drop year on year, an industry trade organisation said on Thursday.

The number of passengers travelling between 17 December and 6 January is expected to be about 300,000 lower than passengers in 2011, according to the Airlines for America (A4A).

According to the A4A, the still strong passenger number is driven by a recovering economy and air travel that continues to be at a bargain price.

Furthermore, planes are expected to be 85% full over the three-week period and could reach 90% on the busiest travel days, which are 21-23 December, 26 December and 2 January.

A4A said the increased capacity comes as “carriers have better matched seating capacity to demand to cope with record fuel prices and other rising costs”.

“This is a great time to travel, as carriers are staffed to accommodate the influx of holiday travellers and airfares remain a bargain, having significantly trailed US inflation,” said A4A vice president and chief economist John Heimlich.

Heimlich said that in real terms, it costs 14% less to fly today than it did in 2000.

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By: Anna Matherne

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