Dec 8 More than 45 million passengers will take
to the skies on U.S. airlines this holiday season, Airlines for
America projected on Thursday, up 3.5 percent from holiday
travel last year.
During the 21-day stretch from Dec. 16 through Jan. 5,
between 1.8 million and 2.4 million passengers daily will fly
globally aboard U.S. carriers, according to the Washington-based
"An improving economy and reduced airfares remain the
driving force behind the growth seen in air travel," Airlines
for America Chief Economist John Heimlich said in a statement.
"As we saw over Thanksgiving, U.S. airlines are well
positioned to handle the increase in passengers expected this
holiday season," he added.
U.S. carriers got a trial run at the upcoming travel rush
during the 12 days of Thanksgiving travel, the trade group said.
During Thanksgiving travel, airlines had a completion factor
of 99.4 percent, a percentage of flights an airline completes
without cancellation, and an on-time arrival rate of 84.5
percent, the industry body said.
Airlines for America said it expects the most congested
travel days to fall on Dec. 22 and Dec. 23, while fewer
travelers are expected on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New
Year's Eve and New Year's Day.
(Reporting by Alana Wise; Additional reporting by Jeffrey
Dastin; Editing by Alan Crosby)