American airlines expect as many as 28.5 million passengers to fly over the 12-day period around Thanksgiving this year, which marks an increase of 3% compared to the festive period of 2016.
According to the officials, the busiest day of all is going to be the Sunday after Thanksgiving with nearly 2.9 million travelers. In order to meet the increased demand, Airlines for America (A4A) reports US airlines are adding an additional 86,000 seats a day for the holiday period. The number is slightly higher than the expected figure of 69,000 more passengers a day.
The days around Thanksgiving and Christmas are some of the most profitable periods for the airlines, along with the summer season.
According to A4A’s report the nine major publicly traded U.S. airlines had a pretax profit of $14.7 billion for the first nine months of 2017, which is a bit lower compared to 2016 and 2015 as a result of the higher fuel price and labor cost, which have risen with 17% and 8% respectively over the past year.
John Heimlich, the group’s chief economist expressed his belief that the airlines are not going to lose money as long as the economy remains stable.