Airlines Poised to Fly More Seats During 2023 holiday season

Passengers at Amsterdam Schiphol airport.
Franklin Heijnen, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In a promising outlook for the holiday season, a recent analysis by Cirium, the foremost authority in aviation analytics, predicts a substantial increase in intra-European travel, with seats flown expected to rise by over 10%.

Simultaneously, U.S. domestic travel is poised for an 8% increase compared to the previous year, according to data sourced from Cirium’s Diio Mi Schedules Tool—an extensively used tool in the aviation industry for analyzing airline schedules worldwide.

As the aviation industry gears up for the festive season, Cirium’s comprehensive analysis reveals compelling insights into travel trends.

Photo Credit: Schiphol Airport.

Positive Trajectory for USA and Europe

The data, focusing on December 22, 2023, to January 2, 2024, compared to the same period in the previous year, underscores the positive trajectory in both Europe and the United States.


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In particular, U.S. airlines are anticipating heightened demand for sun-soaked destinations, projecting an 18% increase in seats flown from the U.S. to Caribbean resorts and a 14% increase to Florida in 2023 compared to the previous year.

The forecast is based on the critical period leading up to Christmas and immediately following the New Year holiday.

Delving into airfare trends, Cirium’s analysis of the U.S. domestic market reveals that, as of September 2023, the average airfare for U.S. economy tickets stands at $182, one-way, non-directionally averaged, excluding taxes and fees.

In the intra-European market, the average airfare for an economy ticket over the holiday season is notably lower, standing at $105.55 (€96.60 at current conversion rates) for the same period.

Examining operational performance, North American airlines have demonstrated strong results in December 2023, with an impressive average on-time performance of 85.57% and a mere 0.4% of flights canceled as of December 14, 2023.

In contrast, intra-European flights have faced challenges, with a 3% cancellation rate and 69.21% of flights considered on-time. Cirium’s operational metrics play a pivotal role for airlines and airports, serving as a crucial benchmark to gauge their performance in the industry.

About Cirium

Cirium, positioned as the world’s most trusted source of aviation analytics, empowers various stakeholders in the aviation ecosystem, including airlines, airports, travel companies, aircraft manufacturers, and financial institutions.

By leveraging powerful data and analytics, coupled with decades of industry experience, Cirium facilitates intelligent decision-making, leading to improved operations, revenue growth, and enhanced customer experiences.

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By Lewis Dwyer 3 Min Read
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