Airlines Cut Back on U.S. Flights

Written by  //  December 4, 2007  //  Aviation & Aerospace, Economy, Oil & gas, U.S.  //  Comments Off on Airlines Cut Back on U.S. Flights

Don’t Miss Your Flight — It Could be the Last One Out for a Few Days
Dec. 4, 2007

Responding largely to high fuel costs, the USA’s six big network airlines continue to trim their U.S. schedules despite strong travel demand.
The six carriers American, United, Delta, Continental, Northhwest and US Airways have scheduled 4.4% fewer seats for January than a year earlier, according to a USA TODAY analysis of flight schedules that includes their regional feeder airlines.
To trim capacity, airlines can eliminate routes, fly them less frequently or switch to smaller planes. Whatever the course, travelers face reduced options and fuller flights.
The airlines, which handle about two-thirds of domestic flying, are reacting to this autumn’s run-up in fuel prices, which can make some flights unprofitable, says William Swelbar, who heads MIT’s International Center for Air Transportation.
“With $90 oil, (airlines) have to really look in the mirror & to see whether the economics still make sense,” he says.
Another factor: The airlines in recent years have been shifting more toward international routes, which, in general, are more lucrative.
Fuel and business strategy alone don’t explain the reduction. More

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