The summer season is almost here and the Air Transport Association of America, ATA, the industry trade group, estimates an average 2.4 million people will fly every day this summer, a daily increase of 34,000 compared to last year's levels.
In its annual air travel forecast, the ATA predicts US airlines will carry 206.2 passengers from June through August, a 1.5- percent increase from the same period in 2010. Of those travelers, about 180 million are flying domestically, while 26.3 million will be traveling on international flights — a new record.
Despite high energy prices, the average round-trip domestic fare has remained relatively unchanged over the past decade, standing at $316 in 2010, the ATA noted on its report.
Could investors benefit from an increase in travel demand? In the past five years, the stock market posted positive results during the summer months (Memorial Day to Labor Day). The Nasdaq led the gains with an average return of 3.2 percent, followed by the Dow Industrials, up 2 percent, and the S&P 500 with an increase of 1.8 percent.