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US airlines group expects busiest summer travel season ever
[NEW YORK] Summer travel on US airlines is expected to reach an all-time high this year on the wings of a strong US economy, Washington-based trade group Airlines for America said on Monday.
The group estimates that about 222 million passengers will fly on US airlines from June through August, up 4.5 per cent from the same time last year.
US carriers are increasing the number of seats available for booking by 4.6 per cent to accommodate the demand, the group said. "The continued rise in US consumer sentiment and employment is leading to more people traveling more often," the group's Chief Economist John Heimlich said in a statement.
The top three nonstop international destinations from the United States are Canada, Mexico and the United Kingdom, the group said.
Strong US domestic demand is poised to benefit American Airlines Group Inc, United Continental Holdings Inc , Delta Air Lines Inc and others, while the lower cost of fuel - airlines' largest variable expense - is adding hundreds of millions of dollars to their bottom lines.