(WASHINGTON) — Get ready for a busy summer in the air. Airlines for America (A4A), the trade group representing most domestic airlines, says 209 million passengers will take to the skies this summer. That one-percent increase from last year is narrowing the gap to the peak summer of 2007 when more than 217 million travelers flew, according to the group’s annual report.
International travel on domestic carriers is expected to be at an all-time high, with 27.4 million passengers flying to overseas destinations.
“As we enter the peak summer travel season, Airlines for America expects U.S. airlines to see modest year-over-year growth in both domestic and international travel, including an all-time high for passengers traveling internationally,” said A4A Vice President and Chief Economist John Heimlich. “It’s a great time to fly as airfares remain a bargain and airlines are delivering strong on-time performance.”
What does this all mean for you? A4A projects 2.27 million people will fly each day. The days expected to be the busiest — which you might want to avoid — are Thursdays and Fridays, mid-June through the first week of August. Load factors, the industry measures for how many seats are taken in a plane, are expected to be between 86 percent and 87 percent.
A4A attributes the robust summer travel projection to an improving economy and “relief” in energy prices.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
John Newsome and Anne Woolsey, CNN