US Thanksgiving travel is set to hit new highs as US airline industry is set to break its daily travel record

26 November, 2019

If projections for travel in the US for the Thanksgiving holiday are any indication of demand, then the country’s airlines should finish the year strong. The country’s trade association Airlines for America projects that a record 31.6 million passengers to travel on US operators during the 12-day Thanksgiving travel period, which is +3.7% jump year-on-year.

Roughly 3.1 million passengers are forecasted to travel on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, which is poised to be the busiest travel day ever for the US airline industry, the trade group concluded. Breaking down the numbers, the association calculates that US airlines will transport an average of 2.63 million passengers per day from Friday, November 22 to Tuesday, December 3.

In addition to the record traffic levels predicted on December 1, Airlines for America expects 2.98 million passengers to travel on Wednesday, November 27, and 2.96 million on Friday, November 22. Thanksgiving Day itself, November 28, is projected to be one of the lightest days of the year, with only 1.79 million passengers.

Compared with the 2018 Thanksgiving travel period, US airlines will operate 859 more flights per day, adding 108,000 daily seats to their schedules, to accommodate the additional 93,000 daily passengers expected.

“The popularity of air travel continues to soar this holiday season, as airlines and airports alike continue to invest billions of dollars into improving the quality of the experience and the efficiency of their operations,” said Airlines For America Vice President and Chief Economist John Heimlich.