Airlines Are Bracing For Record Summer Travel. A Golden Opportunity For Investors?

If current forecasts are accurate, this summer could mark a historic high in airline passenger volumes. The industry group Airlines for America (A4A) predicts that approximately 257 million people will travel on U.S. commercial airlines from June 1 to August 31, representing a 9.5% increase from the previous summer. That would also set a new record, as volumes are projected to surpass summer 2019 levels by around 2 million passengers.

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To meet demand, airlines will employ larger aircraft and increase capacity by adding approximately 297,000 seats per day. Airlines for America (A4A) expects the daily average of seats this summer will reach nearly 3.4 million, an increase from 3.3 million per day during the summer of 2019. This translates to an estimated 137 seats per flight, representing a 14% rise compared to four years ago.

Memorial Day weekend is typically viewed as the informal launch of the busy summer travel season, and this year was no different. According to data from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), some 9.8 million people flew on commercial airlines in the U.S. from Friday to Monday of the previous week. This figure is slightly higher than the 9.7 million who traveled during the same holiday weekend in 2019.