Expect Pricey Flights All Decade: FAA

US forecasts more passengers, less space
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 8, 2012 4:56 PM CST
US Airways employees tow a jet on the tarmac at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

(Newser) – Expect airfares to stay high for the rest of the decade: Prices won't drop until there's more competition for airlines, which won't happen for a while, an FAA report says. Passengers' miles flown will almost double over the next two decades, from 815 billion last year to 1.57 trillion in 2032—but in the coming years, industry mergers will cut the number of flights running and cities covered, the AP reports. Rising oil prices won't help.

"Imagine a carrier the size of Jet Blue coming into the system every 10 months," says the FAA's acting administrator. "That is the demand we are forecasting." Routes between the US and South America are likely to see the biggest increase in travel, followed by trips to and from Asia, the report notes. (Read more airline industry stories.)

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