According to forecasts for spring 2016 air travel in the United States, approximately 140 million passengers, 2.3 million per day, are expected to fly on U.S. airlines.
Airlines for America (A4A) reviewed 2015 results and finds out that spring 2016 air travel will rise 63.000 passengers per day compared to 136.2 million passengers same period (March - April) last year. A4A projects spring 2016 air travel to rise to the highest level ever, with passenger volumes exceeding 2015’s peak by 3 percent. This includes more than 17 million travelers (285,000 per day) on international flights. To accommodate the record volumes, airlines are increasing the supply of seats commensurately with the expected increase in demand.
“The continued growth in passenger volumes can be attributed to the accessibility and affordability of air travel today,” said John Heimlich, A4A Vice President and Chief Economist. “To meet the extra demand, airlines are deploying new and larger aircraft on many routes.”
The 2015 results reflect the improving finances of 10 publicly traded U.S. airlines (Alaska, Allegiant, American, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, United and Virgin America). They collectively reported pre-tax earnings of $23.2 billion, resulting in a margin of 14.6 percent – up from 6 percent in 2014. While operating revenues in 2015 were flat, as 5.1 percent lower fares offset 4.4 percent traffic growth, airline operating expenses fell $14 billion or 9.5 percent, as lower fuel costs offset higher employee wages and benefits, which rose 12.2 percent to more than $40 billion – approximately $800 million more per month than in 2010.