March 20 (UPI) -- About 145 million travelers are expected to fly globally on U.S. airlines in the spring, a four percent increase over 2016, an airline trade association said Monday.
Airlines for America, a Washington-based industry trade association and lobbying group for major U.S. airlines, said it expected nearly 2.4 million people per day to fly on U.S. airlines between March 1 and April 30. Airlines are adding 110,000 seats per day to accommodate the gain of about 89,000 additional passengers per day, the association said.
John Heimlich, A4A vice president, said in a statement that lower fares, new nonstop routes and years of reinvestment to improve planes and the flying experience are contributing to the expected increase in demand.
Air carriers put 350 new planes into service in 2016, and made commitments to purchase more than 1,400 more, the A4A reported. It added that a record 823 million passengers boarded planes in 2016, a 3.1 percent rise over 2015. The U.S. Department of Transportation said 73 percent of passengers had their bags properly handled, a record, and 42 percent of U.S. flights arrived on time, the highest percentage since 2012.