ATA records cargo, passenger growth
The Airport Transportation Association of America (ATA) has reported that cargo traffic among U.S. airlines rose 5 percent year-over-year in January on the strength of international traffic.
The Airport Transportation Association of America (ATA) has reported that cargo traffic among U.S. airlines rose 5 percent year-over-year in January on the strength of international traffic. These numbers, when added to the 13 percent year-over-year passenger revenue increase experienced in February, signal good news to John Heimlich, ATA’s vice president and chief economist. However, he warns, rising fuel costs could affect future growth.
“Industry revenue growth persisted in February, despite widespread winter storms plaguing airline operations throughout the country, and reflects a strengthening economy and pricing environment buoyed by recent fare hikes attempting to offset rapidly rising energy prices,” Heimlich said in a statement. “As fuel prices remain at or near historically high levels, U.S. airlines may experience a more challenging revenue environment.”
A good bit of news that might help combat this challenging revenue environment comes from the shareholders at AirTran Holdings, who have approved AirTran’s merger with Southwest Airlines. The next hurdle for the companies is the U.S. Department of Justice, which is reviewing the deal. According to Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines, the deal is expected to close in the second quarter.
“This approval is another important and exciting step toward completing the transaction and beginning the integration of AirTran into Southwest to ultimately serve the flying public as one carrier,” Kelly said in a statement.