The New York Times does a good job today telling the story of how airlines have held the line on number of flights:
"For the first time since their industry was deregulated in the late 1970s, airlines in thehave managed to hold the line on the number of planes they fly."
Actually, airlines have held the line since the 2006-2007 time frame when they started cutting flights like crazy. Regardless, the story does a good job explaining the whys and whatfors. As you read the story, here are some takeaways to keep in mind:
- According to the International Air Travel Association, demand has risen by 6.1 percent so far this year, yet airlines added just 1.5 percent more seats.
- For passengers, the result is pretty obvious: ticket prices have risen, although airline experts point out that the comparison may be skewed because last year’s fares were especially low in the depths of the recession.
- Instead of adding more planes as demand has risen, the airlines have put more people onto their scheduled flights. Airlines now routinely fill more than 80 percent of their seats — an exceptionally high level for an industry that traditionally sells 70 percent of its seats.
Using the Victorville plane storage facility to help tell the story is a nice touch. If you've never seen photos of Victorville, try out these links: