A Better Flight Plan

Industry Insights

A4A’s Rebecca Spicer Talks Upcoming Record-Breaking Summer Travel Season

Airlines for America’s SVP of Communications Rebecca Spicer participated in a press conference on summer travel hosted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on May 16 at New York City’s LaGuardia International Airport. Spicer detailed how airlines are preparing for what’s expected to be a record-shattering summer travel season.

“It’s an exciting time – 270 million passengers are expected to fly on U.S. airlines somewhere across the world this summer,” Spicer said. “That’s up 6% from last summer.”

U.S. airlines will carry that record number of passengers on 26,000 flights each day this summer. Spicer stressed it’s all possible thanks to the hundreds of thousands of airline industry employees.

“Our carriers have been aggressively hiring and looking at new ways to recruit and retain from pilots to flight attendants to gate agents — across the spectrum they’ve been aggressively hiring. Over the past year we’ve actually seen more personnel on staff at our airlines than we’ve had over 20 years,” Spicer said. “We’re grateful for their time, their service and their dedication for helping to get not just passengers but also tons of cargo to their destination safely every single day.”

Spicer also acknowledged the ongoing air traffic control shortage the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) currently faces and its impacts on travel.

“There are towers, especially here in the New York area, that desperately need additional staff. The Secretary himself has said that the towers are about 3,000 people short across the country,” Spicer said. “We are hoping that there are solutions to get people hired and trained into those towers to help facilitate smooth travel throughout not just this summer but into the future.”

Spicer joined leaders from across the aviation industry, including TSA Administrator David Pekoske, American Association of Airport Executives CEO Todd Hauptli, U.S. Travel Association CEO Geoff Freeman, Airports Council International North America CEO Kevin Burke, National Air Carriers Association CEO George Novak and Global Business Travel Association Vice President Shane Downey.

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