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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A4A: Airplanes Will Be At Capacity for Thanksgiving Travel

Industry trade group Airlines for America (A4A) predicts a busy Thanksgiving travel weekend, forecasting major U.S. airlines will be at nearly 90 percent capacity with about 24 million passengers.

Despite the sluggish economy, A4A said passenger loads are expected to increase by about 150,000 people over Thanksgiving 2011. Airlines are looking to offset record annual jet fuel costs — currently $3.08 per gallon — by closely matching demand to available seats.

Although the number travelers will greatly increase during the Thanksgiving travel season, passenger loads are not expected to exceed the peak travel years of 2006-2007.

The day before Thanksgiving, Nov. 21, and the Monday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 26, are expected to see the most passengers with 2.3 million traveling on each day. That’s a great sign for the airline industry, as it continues to recover from the recession, the group said.

“Despite razor-thin profits, airlines have consistently demonstrated when they are even marginally profitable they add jobs," said A4A Vice President and Chief Economist John Heimlich. “Improved airline balance sheets have translated into 21 consecutive months of job growth and enabled the carriers to reinvest in equipment, which will help boost efficiency and enhance the customer experience.” 

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