November 5, 2015 / 5:43 AM / 3 years ago

Thanksgiving travel to be busier this year: U.S. airlines group

Passengers cast shadows as they walk along a terminal at Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, California March 4, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

(Reuters) - Thanksgiving travel on U.S. airlines will be even busier this year than last, an airlines association predicts.

U.S. carriers are expected to fly 25.3 million passengers worldwide from Friday, Nov. 20, through Tuesday, Dec. 1, up 3 percent from a year earlier, Washington-based trade group Airlines for America said on Thursday.

The group said airlines are adding flight capacity to match the demand.

“As competition continues to boost schedules and drive down airfares in 2015, customers are seeing more opportunities to fly during the holiday season,” the group’s chief economist, John Heimlich, said.

The 10 publicly traded U.S. airlines collectively earned $17.9 billion during the first nine months of 2015, with a 36-percent decline in fuel costs more than offsetting flat operating revenues, the group said.

Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in New York; Editing by Ken Wills

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