During the seven-day Labor Day travel period from Wednesday, Sept. 2, through Tuesday, Sept. 8, a total of 14.2 million people are expected to fly according to Airlines for America. A4A expects 2 million air passengers per day, up 59,000 daily passengers from the same period in 2014.
“A4A projected an all-time high for summer travel this year and year-over-year increases continue,” said John Heimlich, A4A Vice President and Chief Economist. “With capacity increasing and airfares trending downward, air travel continues to be more accessible and a bargain for cost-conscious consumers.”
Ten airlines – Delta, Alaska, Allegiant, American, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, United and Virgin America – collectively reported a net profit of $8.7 billion, up from $3.9 billion during the same period last year. The improvement was driven largely by lower fuel costs.
Meanwhile, in the first half of 2015, the 10 airlines collectively reinvested $8.5 billion in their businesses, A4A said. New and refurbished aircraft are being delivered at a rate of nearly one per day. Additional investments include route expansion, development of mobile technology, and enhanced airport check-in areas, lounges and gates.
“Six years post-recession, airlines are finally realizing profit margins that are on par with the S&P 500 average, a barometer of U.S. corporate performance,” said Heimlich. “Improving finances have accelerated their investments in people, products and technology to enhance the travel experience for customers.”