ATA: Christmas, New Year’s travel to decline in 2009

Fewer people are expected to fly this Christmas and New Year’s, according to new estimates from the Air Transport Association of America (ATA).

The association estimates 41 million people will be flying on American-based airlines – a 2.5 percent decline compared to last year.

“We are continuing to see fewer air travelers over the holidays, a trend that has been apparent throughout 2009,” ATA President and CEO James C. May said in a news release. “Capacity reductions will likely mean fuller flights on many days.”

It appears the “fragile economy” and the “depressed global demand for travel” are contributing to the decline, according to the ATA’s news release. Dec. 27, Dec. 28 and Dec. 29 are projected to be the busiest travel days.

The ATA’s estimates are based on travel between Dec. 17 and Jan. 6, 2010.

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