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New flights by Delta & UNited will help increase capacity and maybe ease fare pressure for consumers. Also increased tourism spending by Ireland and UK should help in boosting travel, depending on economy.

Overall trans-Atlantic traffic was flat in September, a pattern which held for the entire peak season. The leading carriers reported an average increase of only 0.4 percent for the second consecutive month, while average capacity was down 0.9 percent.

The average load factor was 87.4. Through the peak months (May—September), the leading carriers’ average load factor was up a mean 0.9 percent for each of the five months compared to 2011, with the high at 89.9 in July, up 2.2 points from July 2011.

The three joint-venture groups that now dominate trans-Atlantic skies (Delta–Air France/KLM/Alitalia, United–Lufthansa/Swiss/Austrian and American–British Airways/Iberia) have been quite successful in managing capacity and fares.

The full Donald N. Martin & Company‘s Trans-Atlantic report is embedded below:

Download (PDF, 104KB)

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