Wednesday, October 05, 2011

A Few Small Numbers Show the Future of Air Travel

Just a few numbers from Delta's operations report for September show how domestic air travel is evolving. Basically, the evolution continues to means fewer markets, fewer choices, more crowded planes, a system with almost no slack built in.

By the numbers, in September, for domestic operations, Delta:

--Flew 3.3 percent fewer seats than September 2010

--Had load factors (percentage of seats full) of 83 percent -- up 3.2 points.

Simple arithmetic tells the tale. Assuming demand does not fall sharply -- and there is no sign that demand is doing anything more than slowing a bit -- this also will translate into higher fares.


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