Record-breaking international flights expected for summer
May 9, 2012, 03:30 pm
The industry association Airlines for America reported that United States planes will have a record number of people making international flights this summer.
The forecast predicts 179.4 million passengers will fly domestically from June to August, which remains unchanged from last year, but the group expects 26.8 million will fly internationally during that same time, passing last year’s record of 26.3 million international passengers.
"Consumers continue to benefit 2011 from air travel prices that lag increases of other goods and services," John Heimlich, the group's vice president and chief economist, told USA Today. "The results would have been far worse if not for continued steps in the industry to adapt to rising fuel costs and a sluggish economy."
Heimlich expects that flights will be 85 percent full this summer.
Fuel accounted for one-third of operating in expenses in 2011 and caused an overall loss for the aviation industry. Fuel costs as of the first quarter were more than 19 percent higher than the year prior. The International Air Transport Association reported that fuel costs were $177 billion globally in 2011 and are expected to increase by $40 million this year.
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