Categorized | Airlines

Airlines report fewer PAX, fuller planes…

Posted on 02 November 2009

If your recent flight felt crowded, it was, says the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Most domestic airlines reported that the load factor-the percentage of seats filled-topped 80% for the third quarter as carriers cut flights out of their schedules. So though fewer passengers are flying these days, planes are fuller because fewer seats are available, industry experts say.  And that trend of high load factors is expected to continue through the holidays, Airlines are set to report traffic numbers this week for October, when airlines slashed fares to try to fill planes.

 

 “Business travelers, who pay three to four times more per ticket, used to subsidize some empty seats, but because airlines don’t have that business traveler any more, they will stick as many low-yielding passengers-all the way to the gills-onto a plane,” said Rick Seaney, chief executive of FareCompare.com, a Web site that tracks airfares. The lack of business travelers is making it difficult for airlines to predict how full planes will be this winter. “Uncertainty persists about how travel demand will trend,” said American Airlines Chief Financial Officer Tom Horton.

Source: Star Telegram

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