2010 looks to be better for travel

ATLANTA – A number of new surveys indicate leisure travel is expected to increase in 2010, but tough times remain – especially for the world’s airlines.

A survey from Travel Ticker indicates 35 percent of people are planning to travel more for leisure next year and 51 percent plan on taking the same number of trips. Only 6 percent are looking to travel less, the survey indicates.

“The feedback we received from our 2010 Travel Intentions Survey further supports Travel Ticker’s belief that if consumers find a great deal, they will be inspired to travel,” Barbara Messing, vice president of Travel Ticker, said in a news release. “Our consumers seem excited for 2010 to be the year they take a vacation they’ve always dreamed about. This makes sense considering all the great deals we’re seeing as we go into the new year.”

While 4.1 percent fewer people flew in 2009, IATA estimates 2.28 billion people will fly in 2010. That would be roughly in line with the number of passengers who flew in 2007, but it isn’t enough to erase a bleak prospect for airlines globally.

“The worst is likely behind us. For 2010, some key statistics are moving in the right direction. Demand will likely continue to improve and airlines are expected to drive down non-fuel unit costs by 1.3 (percent). But fuel costs are rising and yields are a continuing disaster,” Giovanni Bisignani, director general and CEO of the International Air Transport Association, said in a news release. “Airlines will remain firmly in the red in 2010 with … $5.6 billion in losses.”

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