Slower 2013 predicted for airline industry

Filed under: Daily News |

A Colorado airline industry analyst projects flights, seat capacity and passenger numbers will decline in 2013.

Evergreen-based Boyd Group International said issued a report today that predicts the nation’s air transportation system will  see a 1.5 to 2.0 percent drop in traffic this year.

Furthermore, industry growth beyond 2013 is predicted to be slower than expected with U.S. airports handling nearly 50 million fewer passengers in 2017 than the Federal Aviation Administration has forecasted.

However, Boyd said the trend could  be positive for many small airports, particularly in markets where these jets are operating in excess of 80 percent full.

Still, the firm says by 2017 U.S. carriers will retire nearly 1,000 50-seat airliners.