Domestic airline capacity shrinking, international routes increasing
International routes tend to fill up large planes that are relatively fuel-efficient, while domestic routes tend to be with small planes that are gas guzzlers.
Here's the meat of the article:
So the future of air travel in the United States is cutbacks for domestic travel.
Mr. Bastian outlined Delta’s aggressive plan to expand internationally while shrinking domestically. Most other major airlines are doing the same. By the summer, he said, 41 percent of Delta’s available seats will be on international routes.
By the second half of this year, Delta’s domestic capacity will be “down a full 10 percent over where it was just last year,” he said. By this summer, international capacity will be 77 percent higher than it was in the summer of 2005, he added.
“A considerable amount” of Delta’s international growth is coming out of the domestic system, he said.
Delta will further reduce its domestic capacity by 5 percent by August, when the airline will have removed from its fleet (by sale, re-leasing or simply parking in storage) 15 to 20 larger aircraft and 20 to 25 smaller regional jets.
Regional jets, I do not need to remind many of you, provide most of the service at small and even some big airports.
Many airports could be facing sharp cutbacks in service, unless those cities happen to provide what Mr. Bastian called “better asset flights.” Those are flights whose passengers are headed to a hub in the United States to make an international connection.
“Domestic capacity is increasingly being pointed toward feeding international destinations,” he said.
How are we going to meet the growing demand for domestic travel?
Lots and lots of trains.
More daily frequencies to more places at faster speeds.
Or we'll have people drive, buy more oil, make Saudi Arabia even wealthier and spend even more time in congested highways.
I vote for trains.
What do you vote for?