Volume of U.S. Travelers this Spring Predicted to Break Records

Industry group Airlines for America has predicted that spring travel will result in a record-breaking 140 million U.S. airline passengers, equating to a 2.8 percent increase from 2015.

The lobbying association for major U.S. airlines said in a statement Wednesday that about 2.3 million people will fly daily during March and April, including more than 17 million travelers on international flights.

“The continued growth in passenger volumes can be attributed to the accessibility and affordability of air travel today,” said John Heimlich, Airlines for America’s chief economist. “To meet the extra demand, airlines are deploying new and larger aircraft on many flights.”

Growing Demand

A quick glance at airline trends will prove that expanded flights are trending, and Spring travel trends may just be the beginning. JetBlue just announced it will further  grow its presence at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) with plans to operate an average of 140 daily flights—a whopping 75 percent growth from the carrier’s current size at its South Florida focus city.

As part of JetBlue’s ongoing expansion, the airline is adding new nonstop service to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) and increasing the number of flights to Nassau, Bahamas’ Lynden Pindling International Airport (NAS).

United Airlines has also recently released reports that illustrate a growth in traffic. Total traffic for the Chicago-based airline during the month of February was 14.065 billion RPMs, or revenue passenger miles, an increase of 2.7 percent from 13.693 billion RPMs in February 2015.

Increased Affordability

In addition to the Southwest ads touting $69 one-way flights, many  airlines are offering “no-frills” prices that make traveling easier on any budget (as long as you don’t mind giving up the usual benefits on your flight).

American Airlines announced last October the launch of their “Basic Economy” fares, which will be available in mid-2016 and will exclude upgrades, and United Airlines, too, will offer what they’re calling entry-level fares.

When you consider the combination of increased travel options, decreasing ticket prices, and the slew of travel campaigns that are dominating TV airtime and online advertising space, it’s no mystery why we’ve all caught the travel bug.


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