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. Allegiant Air reports $400 million in revenue for second quarter

    Airlines
    Allegiant Air CEO Maurice J. Gallagher Jr. | [Courtesy of Tony Jannus Aviation Society]
  2. As Dow hits new high, Raymond James Financial reports record financial gains

    Banking

    On the same day that the Dow closed at new highs, investment firm Raymond James Financial reported record revenues and earnings for its fiscal third quarter that ended June 30.

    Raymond James Financial CEO Paul Reilly unveiled record quarterly revenues and earnings for the St. Petersburg-based investment firm. [Courtesy of Raymond James Financial]
  3. Florida GDP growth in first quarter 2017 ranks 21st among states, still outpacing U.S.

    Economic Development

    Florida's gross domestic product or GDP rose 1.4 percent in the first quarter, slightly faster than the nation's growth of 1.2 percent and placing Florida 21st among the states for growth rates, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

    Not too hot. Not too cold.

    These Jackson Square Townhomes began hitting the west Hillsborough County market late last year and continued to be sold into the first quarter of 2017. The real estate sector was the biggest driver of Florida's gross domestic product, which rose 1.4 percent in the first quartrer of 2017.  [JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times]
  4. A new app will help you find your favorite Tampa Bay food trucks

    Food & Dining

    What's new: Food tech

    Local food businesses are embracing new technologies and partnerships to bring us extra deliciousness.

    Michael Blasco of Tampa Bay Food Trucks says that everyone always asked about an app to help find their favorite food trucks. There is, available for iPhones and Droids.
  5. Another Pinellas foreclosure auction fools bidders, raises questions

    Real Estate

    For the second time in six weeks, a company connected to lawyer Roy C. Skelton stood poised to profit from a Pinellas County foreclosure auction that confused even experienced real estate investors.

    A Palm Harbor company bid  $112,300 for  this Largo townhome at a foreclosure auction July 21 not realizing the auction involved a second mortgage, connected to lawyer and  real estate investor Roy Skelton -- and that the bank could still foreclose on the  first mortgage.
[SUSAN TAYLOR MARTIN   |   Times]