Clear Expands

Clear, the leading version of the Registered Traveler security checkpoint program, introduced a partnership with Delta Air Lines that includes operating fast lanes this summer in Delta terminals at Kennedy International and La Guardia Airports in New York and Los Angeles International Airport. The annual fee for Clear membership, which includes an identification card encoded with a member’s iris scans and fingerprints, is $100 plus $28 for security clearance processing by the Transportation Security Administration.

Softening Demand

The May operating data for domestic airlines generally indicates softening demand and a constricting system. The softening demand story is told mostly through a measure called revenue passenger miles, each one representing one paying passenger flown one mile. All major airlines reported declines, ranging up to minus 7.3 percent at United. Some low-cost carriers had much better results. At Southwest, revenue passenger miles were up 6.5 percent. And AirTran reported a big 18.2 percent increase. Here are the numbers: American Airlines’ domestic revenue passenger miles were down 3.3 percent on a 2.3 percent drop in capacity, with a load factor (the percentage of available seats filled) of 83.5 percent, down slightly from the previous May. Comparable numbers at United Airlines were 7.3 percent, 5.5 percent and a 1.6 percentage point drop in load factor to 84.4 percent. At Delta Air Lines: 3.8 percent, 6.5 percent and a 2.3 point increase in load factor to 84.2 percent. Continental Airlines: 4 percent; 3.9 percent; and a load factor of 84.4 percent, unchanged. Northwest Airlines: 6.1 percent; 8.7 percent; and a load factor of 86.6 percent, up 2.3 points. US Airways: 3.9 percent; 4 percent; and a load factor of 83.1 percent, unchanged. Southwest Airlines: +6.5 percent, +5.2 percent; and a load factor of 74.9 percent, up slightly. JetBlue Airways: 2.3 percent; +1.2 percent; and a load factor of 79.2 percent, down 2.8 points. AirTran Airways: +18.2 percent; +14 percent; and a load factor of 79.3 percent, up 2.9 points.

Sobering Stats

The average one-way domestic fare paid on June 1 was $191, according to the Boyd Group, an airline consulting firm. Of that, the airline received $166.17 after paying taxes and fees. At jet fuel prices on June 1, the cost per passenger for fuel for that average flight was $138.80. The airline had $27.37 left, the Boyd Group said, ”to pay for everything else.”

Stay-at-Home Fourth

More than four in five Americans — 82 percent — say they plan to stay home over the Fourth of July weekend, compared with 77 percent who said so last year, according to a survey by Gasoline prices and high airfares were among the reasons cited.

Source: The New York Times