US travellers are facing record prices for air travel, with carriers hiking fares seven times in 2011 to offset the cost of fuel (AP, 31-May-2011). Fares have increased 48% from 2010. During the first three months of 2011, carriers spent USD8.7 billion on fuel which is 31% more than 2010. The industry’s expenses, aside from fuel, break down as follows:
- 28% on salaries and benefits;
- 18% on aircraft maintenance, airport landing fees and travel agency commissions;
- 5% on aircraft lease payments, food and drinks and in-flight entertainment;
- 14% on miscellaneous costs such as updating reservation systems and marketing partnerships with other carriers.