High fuel costs have meant less profits for America’s major airlines, according to numbers released today by Airlines for America, an airline trade group
Fuel makes up 34 -percent of total spending, according to the trade group, which held a briefing today in Washington.
Overall, the industry saw a $1 billion loss for the first half of 2012, a drop of 1.5 percent from the previous year. Operating revenue grew 8.2 percent while expenses increased to 9.4 percent.
Jet fuel was seen as the biggest cost, jumping from $3 per gallon in 2011 to $3.05 in 2012.
Last year the industry made a little more than 75 cents a passenger per flight, but has been erased this year by higher expenses.
And the loss in profits means a drop in service for passengers, especially in less-urban areas.
Larry Cox, president and CEO of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority, told the USA Today last week,”We’d like more flights, but you’re not going to have any flights if the airlines don’t make money, so we understand their predicament.”
Even with the drop in profits, Airlines for America said in a statement that U.S. airlines continue to have “record operational performance and great customer value.”
According to the trade group, complaints among airline passengers are “remarkably low” at only 1.18 per 100,000 customers. Comparatively, U.S. cable companies received 6.56 complaints, and Amtrak received a staggering 627.54 per 100,000 customers.