In another sign that the travel economy is recovering, CNN is reporting that airlines expect more air travelers this summer. According to the Air Transport Association of America, there should be a 1.5% boost in air travel from June to August, with more than 206 million passengers going on summer travel. Details also point to 26 million passengers expected to travel on international flights, which would be an all-time high according to the ATA.
But the news isn’t all rosey. In 2010, the average cost of a round trip domestic flight was $316, a prices that the ATA claims hasn’t kept up with inflation since it’s only $2 above what air travel averaged in the year 2000. The state of air travel economy also hasn’t recovery fully since the recession hit in 2009. And even though the ATAs project shows an increase in air travel, it’s still substantially below the peak travel numbers of just 4 years ago when the ATA reported travel as at an all time high.
As the forecast is greatly dependent on energy prices remaining stable or even dropping, travel numbers could fluctuate. Should oil prices spike over the summer due to volatile conditions in the Middle East, it could spell doom for the ATAs forecast. Already this year US Air carriers have paid more than $11 billion for airline fuel, up 30 percent over last year. Higher energy prices could impact ticket prices, and prompt travelers to seek more cost effect alternatives.
Hat Tip – CNN