Make us your home page
Instagram

FAA forecasts high airfares throughout decade

WASHINGTON — Airfares are likely to stay high throughout this decade, as passenger travel grows but airline capacity shrinks, according to a government forecast issued Thursday.

In its annual economic analysis, the Federal Aviation Administration said travelers won't get much relief until airlines start getting more competition, which is years off. The FAA predicted that more airline mergers and consolidation will shrink the number of cities served and the number of flights available in the nation's air travel network.

U.S. airline travel is expected to nearly double over the next 20 years, the FAA said, but in the near term, airline capacity will shrink.

The forecast is for the number of miles flown by paying passengers to rise from 815 billion in 2011 to 1.57 trillion in 2032, with an average increase of 3.2 percent a year.

"Imagine a carrier the size of JetBlue coming into the system every 10 months," said Michael Huerta, the FAA's acting administrator. "That is the demand we are forecasting."

Airlines are expected to do their best to match the number of seats available to consumer demand so that planes fly as full as possible.

Last month, Southwest, JetBlue, United, Delta, American and US Airways raised prices on many medium-length and long flights by $10 per round trip, citing the high cost of jet fuel. Airlines raised fares about a dozen times in 2011.

The price of oil is expected to remain high, increasing to $110 a barrel by 2015 and $138 a barrel by 2032, the FAA noted.

The growth in airline travel won't be evenly distributed. The miles passengers fly on domestic flights are forecast to decrease slightly this year and then grow an average of 2.8 percent a year over the next two decades. But passenger miles on international flights are predicted to increase 2.2 percent this year and then grow an average of 4.4 percent a year.

The fastest growth will be travel between the U.S. and South America, followed by travel to and from Asia.

The report underscores the need to continue moving forward with the FAA's transition from an air traffic system based on World War II-era radar technology to one based on GPS technology, federal officials said. The system is expected to allow planes to fly more direct routes to destinations and to take off and land closer together, saving time, money and fuel.

FAA forecasts high airfares throughout decade 03/08/12 [Last modified: Thursday, March 8, 2012 10:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Expanded Belle Parc RV Resort lures travelers with plenty of amenities

    Business

    BROOKSVILLE — Imagine mid-mansion, upscale-enclave living. On wheels. The outcome is Belle Parc, an upwardly mobile, even luxury, RV retreat just north of Brooksville that opened Jan. 1 after two years undergoing expansion, uplift and amenity enrichment.

    A new welcome center is under construction, rear, at Belle Parc RV Resort, where lake sites are being completed, bringing the resort's capacity to 275 spacious park-and-stay slots.
 [Photo by Beth N. Gray]
  2. Memorial Day sales not enough to draw shoppers to Tampa Bay malls

    Retail

    TAMPA — Memorial Day sales at Tampa Bay area malls were not enough to compete with the beach and backyard barbecues this holiday weekend.

    Memorial Day sales weren't enough to draw shoppers to Tampa Bay area malls over the long weekend. 
[JUSTINE GRIFFIN | Times]
  3. Austin software company acquires second Tampa business

    Corporate

    Austin, Tex.-based Asure Software acquired Tampa's Compass HRM Inc. late last week for $6 million. Compass focuses on HR and payroll.

    [Company photo]
  4. Hackers hide cyberattacks in social media posts

    Business

    SAN FRANCISCO — It took only one attempt for Russian hackers to make their way into the computer of a Pentagon official. But the attack didn't come through an email or a file buried within a seemingly innocuous document.

    Jay Kaplan and Mark Kuhr, former NSA employees and co-founders of Synack, a cybersecurity company, in their office in Palo Alto, Calif., in 2013. While last year's hacking of senior Democratic Party officials raised awareness of the damage caused if just a handful of employees click on the wrong emails, few people realize that a message on Twitter or Facebook could give an attacker similar access to their system. 
[New York Times file photo]
  5. Big rents and changing tastes drive dives off St. Pete's 600 block

    Music & Concerts

    ST. PETERSBURG — Kendra Marolf was behind the lobby bar of the State Theatre, pouring vodka sodas for a weeknight crowd packed tight for Bishop Briggs, the latest alternative artist to sell out her club.

    Sam Picciano, 25, left, of Tampa and Molly Cord 24, Palm Harbor shop for record albums for a friend at Daddy Kool Records located on the 600 block of Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida on Saturday, May 20, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times