Fuel costs change air travel's flight path

May 1, 2008 at 10:51 AM
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WASHINGTON, May 1 (UPI) -- Leisure travel and extra business trips on U.S. commercial flights could be substantially reduced in the next year, industry analysts report.

With surging jet fuel prices "some leisure travelers are going to be priced out," Tom Parsons, chief executive officer of BestFares.com told USA Today.

Ticket prices for popular destinations such as New York, Chicago and Los Angeles have risen 18 percent since last summer and airlines expect fuel costs to rise 44 percent this year, the report said.

Industry observers say there could be 20 percent fewer tickets available within the year, as carriers scale back on routes to keep planes as full as possible, USA Today said.

The changes to expect include higher prices, fewer non-stop flights, longer layover stops and few choices for scheduling.

A reduction of 20 percent is equal to 4,000 flights cancellations, USA Today reported.

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