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U.S. airlines expect fewer fliers for Thanksgiving holidays this year…

Posted on 04 November 2011

 

U.S. airlines are expected to fly fewer travelers this Thanksgiving.
 

Fewer travelers will fly during the Thanksgiving holidays, estimates a trade group of domestic airlines.

 

About 23.2 million travelers – 2% fewer than a year ago – will fly on U.S. carriers’ domestic and international flights between Nov. 18 and Nov. 29, says the Air Transport Association Thursday.

 

“While demand is down from last year and remains well below the 2006 peak, passengers still should expect full flights during the Thanksgiving holiday travel season as airlines have begun to reduce capacity,” says ATA’s chief economist John Heimlich.

 

Daily passenger volumes during the holiday period will range from 1.3 million to 2.3 million. Based on sample data from 2009 and 2010, the busiest air travel days for the period are expected to be Sunday, Nov. 27, and Monday, Nov. 28, it says.

 

ATA also says the net profit of U.S. passenger airlines for the first nine months of the year fell 66% to $913 million. In recent earnings and traffic reports, major U.S. carriers have reported sluggish demand and high fuel prices that continue to hamper profitability. Fuel expenses rose 38.1% in the first nine months of the year vs. a year earlier, it says.

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