Money & Company

Tracking the market and economic trends
that shape your finances.

« Previous Post | Money & Company Home | Next Post »

Air travel expected to grow modestly this summer

May 16, 2011 | 10:54 am

LAXsummer Despite higher ticket prices, the number of passengers traveling on U.S.-based airlines this summer will increase modestly, according to a trade group that represents the nation's airline industry.

The Air Transport Assn. predicted Monday that U.S. airlines would carry 206.2 million passengers, a 1.5% increase over the same period in 2010 but still below the all-time high mark reached in the summer of 2007, when 217.6 million travelers flew.

“It is encouraging that more people will be flying this summer, despite higher energy prices taxing the entire economy,” said ATA President Nicholas E. Calio. “The trends are pointing in the right direction."

The average domestic air fare rose to $337 in the last three months of  2010, up 5.2% from the average fare of $320 in the same period in 2009, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Of the 206.2 million air passengers who will travel this summer, 26.3 million will be traveling internationally, a record, the Air Transport Assn. predicted.

Calio said he believed most of the growth in the U.S. airline industry will come from international travel.

-- Hugo Martin

Photo: Passengers wait in line at Los Angeles International Airport. Credit: Los Angeles Times