Air Travel Expected to Grow 5% Per Year for the Next 20 Years
Despite rampant press coverage of the fiscal cliff and campaign rhetoric of a struggling economy, air travel just keeps on growing.
Boeing’s Current Market Outlook 2012, a long-term forecast of air traffic volume and airplane demand, finds air travel to be “remarkably resilient.” It said that 2011 air traffic was 6% greater than 2010, and it expects this trend to continue for the next 20 years, with world passenger travel increasing 5% annually every year.
The report noted that airlines are managing aircraft more strategically to boost yields and cover higher fuel costs. It said that airlines are matching their capacity to seasonal demand, keeping passenger load factors at historic highs. This growth forecast comes despite the fact that global economic growth is expected to be below its long-term average well into 2013.
Separately, the International Air Travel Association issued its own forecast that projected air passenger numbers will increase 5.3% annually for the next four years. (Source: Boeing, IATA).
Most Stressful Airports
Business travelers named what they consider the most stressful airports in a new survey by Concur, the online travel and expense Management Company.
At the top of the list: Chicago´s O´Hare International, followed by Los Angeles International and JFK. More than half of respondents, 56%, said the long distances separating gates and terminals were O´Hare´s biggest problem. JFK had the longest lines according to 49%.
Common problems that travelers said plague many airports are confusing signs 28%, poor service by staff 28% and too few or overcrowded bathrooms by 19%. Other complaints: poor Wifi 18% and not enough electrical outlets 18%. The most hassle-free airports were Dallas Fort Worth, thanks to its clear signs 42%, good Wi Fi and a good selection of dining options 41%. (Source: Concur press release).
Airline Apps Most Popular Mobile Tool for Business Travelers
Nearly 90% of business travelers use mobile apps and 62% of them use them on every trip, according to a study released by Concur, the travel and expense management company.
Airline apps top the list of most used 44% followed by map apps 41% and hotel apps 30%. Just 43% of business travelers use business expense mobile apps, even though nearly 80% call expense reporting as a major pain.
Nearly a quarter, 22%, uses five or more business travel related apps during their trips. Most of the business travelers 89% said that mobile apps improve their travel experience. (Source: Concur press release).
Airlines Start Lobbying for National Airline Policy
Airlines for America, the airline trade association, has begun lobbying Congress and the American public for a national air policy. A4A says that U.S. carriers play an integral role in the U.S. economy but are hindered by high tax rates that exceed those levied on tobacco and alcohol, products that are highly taxed in order to have consumers use them less. In addition, airlines say they have to wrestle with a regulatory burden that is expensive.
Airlines are also lobbying for improvements to the national air traffic control system and for a national energy policy to help stabilize volatile fuel prices.
The A4A national air policy campaign also calls for helping U.S. carriers to compete with foreign carriers that don’t have the tax and regulatory burdens U.S. carriers have. A4A announced the campaign in Washington and has set up a consumer website, NationalAirlinePolicy.com, and Facebook page. (Source: A4A)