Enplanement numbers should be trending toward 3.9 percent and 4.4 percent growth in the third quarter of 2018, according to a revised forecast done by Airports:USA. Though the report shows potential for as much as 5.2 percent growth in the final three months of 2018, Boyd Group International believes that the growth will be uneven, driven by large percentage jumps at several mid-sized airports.
The U.S. airline industry will add 4.2 percent more seats in the third quarter of 2018, compared to the third quarter of 2017, and the Boyd Group projects that the traditional airline sector will continue to see measured growth. Some of this growth may result in fleet changes.
Also of note is the predicted expansion of the parallel airline system, mostly by the addition of routes that have little to no nonstop service. In the third quarter of 2018, the three parallel carriers will account for about 7 percent of U.S. passenger capacity. However, this number does not include Sun Country, which is expected to enter the picture with stronger numbers later this year.
“Remember, many of the expansion routes these parallel airlines are entering are strictly Captain Kirk territory,” the Boyd Group’s blog quips. “[They’re going] where no airline has gone before, at least in the last decade.”