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Airlines For America Projects Record Passenger Load Over Labor Day

Airlines Expect 17.5 Million Passengers During The Holiday Travel Period

 Airlines for America (A4A) expects a record 17.5 million passengers to travel on U.S. airlines worldwide during the week-long Labor Day travel period, which extends from Aug. 28 through Sept. 3. That represents a 4 percent increase from the 16.9 million passengers estimated to have flown during the same holiday period last year.

"With fares at historic lows and customer satisfaction at historic highs, travelers continue to take to the skies in record numbers," said A4A Vice President and Chief Economist John Heimlich.

A4A is projecting U.S. airlines to carry an average of 2.51 million passengers per day during the week-long travel period. Friday, Aug. 30, is expected to be the busiest day of the period, with 2.98 million passengers flying aboard U.S. carriers, followed by Thursday, Aug. 29, with 2.82 million passengers, and Labor Day itself, Monday, Sept. 2, with 2.71 million passengers. Even as U.S. airlines cope with the reduction of more than 300 daily flights due to the grounding of the 737 MAX, they are adding 109,000 seats per day to their schedules to accommodate the additional 95,000 daily passengers expected during the Labor Day travel period.

Meanwhile, with U.S. airport revenues are at an all-time high and airport construction is booming across the country, some are asking Congress to double or even completely uncap the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC), the airport tax passengers pay on every leg of their flight. If the PFC is doubled, a family of four will have to pay an additional $72 – or $144 total – for a roundtrip, one-stop domestic flight. A4A opposes this tax increase.

"With airports already flush with cash, raising the airport tax is simply not fair to the flying public," said Pinkerton. "Airports don't need a tax hike and passengers don't want one."

In 2018, U.S. airport revenues reached a record $32 billion. In addition, they are sitting on $16 billion in cash, and the surplus in the Airport and Airway Trust Fund is projected to approach $10 billion in 2020.

(Source: A4A news release)

FMI: www.airlines.org

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