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US Air Travel Is Way, Way Down For First Half of 2009

August 14, 2009 at 4:44 PM | by | ()

Apparently we now have an answer to that question about whether people are flying more because of cheap airfare. Not so much, no:

U.S. airlines served 282 million passengers in the first five months of this year, a 9.5-percent decrease on a year-on-year basis, U.S. business news outlets reported Friday. Figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics also show that, in the current economic downturn, nearly all U.S. airlines, except Southwest Airlines and US Airways, suffered steep drops in the number of passengers during the period.

Major airlines were hit much harder than LCC's, with Northwest Airlines leading the decline by posting a -20.2% plastering. Southwest served the most passengers, but even they took a 5.3% hit.

Southwest saw even more bad news yesterday. The buzz over the last week was that they were going to make a successful play for Frontier Airlines, which is in bankruptcy. As we reported earlier, they sadly lost that to Republic. Keep in mind that Southwest is the bright spot in the US airline market.

Overall monthly air travel versus the previous year has now been in decline for 14 straight months. If energy prices don't start receding, we might not see an improvement any time soon.

[Photo: Porapora / Wiki Commons]

Related Stories:
· U.S. air travel down 9.5% in first five months of 2009 [Xinhua]
· Airline News Coverage [Jaunted]
· Southwest Airline Coverage [Jaunted]

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