Air Travel Numbers Set to Break Records Yet Again

Air Travel Numbers Set to Break Records Yet Again

Airlines for America, a Washington-based industry trade association and lobbying group for major USA airlines, said it expected almost 2.4 million people per day to fly on US airlines between March 1 and April 30.

The spring traffic surge comes after another high-flying year for US airlines, with a record 823 million passengers in 2016 and a almost 4 percent increase in total seat capacity, according to Airline for America's report Monday. In 2014, the 10 largest carriers reported a 4.6% profit margin, according to the trade group.

Airlines are adding 110,000 seats per day across their routes, according to a news release.

The Transportation Security Administration has since hired more screeners and is working more closely with airlines to coordinate staffing levels to peak traffic times.

"There has never been a better time to fly", A4A vice president John Heimlich said in a statement, noting that "historically low fares, reliable operations" as well as "a boost in USA employment and personal incomes" are fueling the demand.

"There has never been a better time to fly, as evidenced by the record levels of traffic USA airlines saw in 2016 and will see again this spring", Heimlich said.

Last year, USA and foreign airlines added 198 new routes and discontinued 161 routes, resulting in a net growth of 37 nonstop routes.

Airlines will face new challenges in 2017, with fuel prices inching upward after hitting a low in 2016. Airlines this year have already added 151 new routes, while discontinuing 134 routes, for a net growth of 17 routes. More 700 million of those passengers were on domestic flights.

"These expanded routes and the growth in air service at airports of all sizes serve as a reminder of the important role airlines play in connecting communities across America".