Record number of passengers will fly this spring, industry group says

PHOTO: An airplane takes off from the runway in this undated photo.Getty Images
An airplane takes off from the runway in this undated photo.

Approximately 145 million passengers will take to the skies this spring, setting a new record for spring air travel, according to industry trade group Airlines for America.

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An average of nearly 2.4 million people per day will fly on U.S. airlines between March 1 and April 30 -- surpassing last year's average by 4 percent, A4A said.

"There has never been a better time to fly," A4A vice president John Heimlich said in a statement, noting that "historically low fares, reliable operations" as well as "a boost in U.S. employment and personal incomes" are fueling the demand.

A4A's forecast comes on the heels of the Department of Transportation's announcement that U.S. airlines carried a record 823 million passengers in 2016.

Last year also saw a record rate of properly handled bags, and the best on-time arrival rates since 2012, A4A pointed out.

With new innovations in TSA lanes and a continuous push to enroll passengers in trusted traveler programs like PreCheck and Clear, the government and airlines are aiming to avoid the crush of security lines that overwhelmed TSA checkpoints last spring.