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Airlines Expected to Reduce Capacity by 5 to 10 Percent Next Year


By Kate Rice

Airlines Expected to Reduce Capacity by 5 to 10 Percent Next Year
By Kate Rice

If your clients want to go Europe, tell them to book now. Airlines are expected to cut seating capacity on international flights to Europe next year between 5 and 10 percent, according to TravCorp USA.

The percentage of that reduction will fluctuate by destination as the region’s economic outlook is evaluated. Airline seating capacity reductions to Paris, Frankfurt and London are among those currently being studied. Travelers are advised to book now for the best deals.         

As airlines contemplate capacity reductions, AAA surveys of intended travelers indicate that travel in general is increasing due primarily to pent-up demand. Responses to AAA travel surveys conducted throughout the year indicate that Americans have maintained a deep desire to travel throughout the economic downturn and have tired of waiting for the U.S. economy to improve. Increasing numbers of AAA Travel customers are moving forward with vacation purchases to Europe.  

According to AAA Travel sales data, the top five Europe destinations for travel during the first half of 2012 are Rome, London, Dublin, Amsterdam and Paris. Current Europe vacation purchases for travel in the first quarter of 2012 are 15 percent higher than in the first quarter of 2011. Sales for Europe travel during the second quarter of 2012 are 21 percent higher than the second quarter of this year.        

Most airlines and travel suppliers are responding to the pent-up demand and expected airline capacity cuts by providing immediate savings opportunities on travel to Europe. Some cruise lines are modifying itineraries to appeal to specific travelers such as wine enthusiasts and moving more cabin capacity to popular destinations like the Mediterranean.  

Price reduction offers include sales on travel and cruises during the remainder of 2011 including the holiday season, early-booking discounts and price incentives to pay in full at the time of booking for travel in 2012, to name a few. The key to securing a great travel value is knowing when to buy.

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