Cheap Airplane Tickets Were More Readily Available in 2009

Cheap airplane tickets and cheap fares in general were abundant in 2009 as a result of the global recession and the accompanying higher levels of unemployment.

The airline industry experienced its largest recorded decline in flier revenue last year. Total passenger sales for major U.S. airlines declined 18 percent in 2009 far exceeding the 14 percent drop witnessed in 2001.

The sales decline was made up of the following factors:

Passenger volume dropped by 6 percent.

The average price paid to fly one mile dropped by 13%.

Passenger revenue in December declined 4% vs. the prior month. It was the 14th consecutive month of falling sales, with traffic down 3%.

Industry experts are now projecting a modest, but positive revenue growth for airlines in 2010. This forecast could easily change though depending largely on the price of fuel.

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