May 18, 2009 (WASHINGTON) --
A trade group for U.S. airlines says the number of passengers will drop 6.7 percent this summer because of the recession. The Air Transport Association said Friday it expects the number of passengers to drop by 14 million, to 195 million between June 1 and Aug. 31, compared with the same period last year. It expects domestic travel to drop 7 percent to 171 million passengers, and international travel to fall 6 percent to 24 million passengers.
Airlines have been reducing capacity, either cutting routes or using smaller planes. ATA President and CEO James May says the result is that even with traffic down, the airplanes that are still flying are nearly full.
Several airlines have also sharply reduced their Mexico schedules this summer.