Airlines Buoyed by Strong Holiday Demand

Airlines Buoyed by Strong Holiday Demand

Airlines are excited about the prospect of winter holiday travel. (photo via iStock/Getty Images Plus/IGambardella)

Two common themes ran through quarterly earnings reports for airlines in the last couple of weeks.

One was a robust return to profit thanks to an extraordinary spring and summer travel season. Virtually every domestic carrier ended up in the black for the three-=month period between July 1 and September 30.

But another similarity was their collective optimism that the upcoming winter holiday season would be equally profitable as more and more travelers venture out to see family and friends during the period from just before Thanksgiving until just after New Year’s Day.

Buoyed by what he called a continued strong surge even into September, when vacations are over and children are back in school, Southwest CEO Robert Jordan said anticipates holiday travel will mirror the summer.

In Southwest’s earnings announcement, Jordan said the carrier “continues to experience strong leisure and business revenue trends and strong bookings” to close out 2022, “including the holiday time periods,” according to Fox News.

Southwest isn’t the only U.S.-based carrier thinking that way.

“We’re confident in the demand backdrop for the year-end holiday peaks,” JetBlue Chief Operating Officer Joanna Geraghty said in the company’s latest earnings report, according to Fox.

JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes added that he continues “see a growing appetite for JetBlue’s unique customer value proposition of low fares and great service.”

There’s also a growing global sentiment for increased holiday travel. German national carrier Lufthansa said its bookings for the fourth quarter, from October 1 through the end of the year, have surpassed bookings compared to this point in 2019, the last full year before the pandemic, according to Bloomberg News.

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