Save this content for laterSave this content on your device for later, even while offline Sign in with FacebookSign in with your Facebook account Close

Airlines expect 4 percent rise in passengers this spring

By: DAVID KOENIG, Associated Press
March 20, 2017 Updated: March 20, 2017 at 1:08 pm
0

DALLAS (AP) — Coming off another highly profitable year in 2016, U.S. airlines expect traffic this spring to increase 4 percent over last year, and they are adding seats to handle the crush.

The trade group Airlines for America forecast Monday that a record 145 million U.S. passengers will fly between March 1 and April 30.

The group's chief economist said traffic will rise because airfares fell over the last two years while economic indicators such as household wealth and job creation are rising.

There are signs, however, that the run of lower airfares — made possible by cheaper jet fuel — is ending.

American Airlines expects a key revenue per seat figure to rise between 1.5 percent and 3.5 percent in the first quarter after falling throughout 2015 and 2016, and other carriers are close behind.

For the airlines, it looks like the good times will keep rolling.

Last year, U.S. airlines carried a record 823 million passengers and earned $22.3 billion in pretax income, down just $1 billion from the stellar results in 2015.

Pretax profit margins topped 14 percent in both 2015 and 2016. That's the closest the industry has ever been to the U.S. corporate average — 15.8 percent last year — according to their trade group.

As profits have recovered from the 2008-2009 financial crisis, U.S. airlines have paid down $63 billion in debt, bought hundreds of planes, added the equivalent of nearly 33,000 full-time employees, and raised wages.

The average salary at U.S. airlines last year was $80,900, or 38 percent above the private-sector average, according to the airlines' trade group. That number is skewed by high salaries for pilots — many airline employees earn less than the average

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Incognito Mode Your browser is in Incognito mode

You vanished!

We welcome you to read all of our stories by signing into your account. If you don't have a subscription, please subscribe today for daily award winning journalism.

Register to the Colorado Springs Gazette
Subscribe to the Colorado Springs Gazette

It appears that you value local journalism. Thank you.

Subscribe today for unlimited digital access with 50% fewer ads for a faster browsing experience.

Already a Subscriber? LOGIN HERE

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

Wake up with today's top stories in your inbox

or
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?
 
This is your last FREE article for the month
This is your last FREE article for the month

Subscribe now and enjoy Unlimited Digital Access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?

 
You have reached your article limit for the month
You have reached your article limit for the month

We hope that you've enjoyed your complimentary access to Gazette.com

Only 99 cents for Unlimited Digital Access for 1 month
Then $2.31/week, billed monthly, cancel anytime
Already a print subscriber?
Already a digital subscriber?

 
articles remaining
×
Thank you for your interest in local journalism.
Gain unlimited access, 50% fewer ads and a faster browsing experience.