Will the Decline of Jumbo Jets Affect Airfares?
Even though air traffic is up and airline profits are booming, the future of jumbo jets is in question.
Last year, commercial airlines placed zero orders for double-decker Boeing 747s or Airbus A380s, meaning fewer seats for flights.
On "Happening Now," travel consultant Ben Schlappig said that Boeing and Airbus have outdone themselves, building the 787 and A350, respectively.
"They're basically smaller planes which are more fuel efficient," Schlappig explained. "And the benefit of that is that airlines can operate basically more specific, thinner routes which otherwise they couldn't serve with a larger aircraft."
Travel blogger Edward Pizzarello said the decline of jumbo jets is unlikely to result in lower airfares, pointing out that airlines have lost significant amounts of money in recent years and are just now coming back into a period of profitability.
He agreed with Schlappig that airlines are focusing on flying fuller planes on routes where they can charge as much per ticket as possible, since jumbo jets are a "tough fit" in the U.S. market.
"Empty seats on a plane are a lost opportunity to make revenue," Pizzarello said, reiterating that he doesn't see ticket prices going down.
"As things grow, the airlines are really focusing on filling every last seat," Pizzarello explained. "And the A380 and to a lesser degree the 747 really work against that model."
Watch more above.
You might also be interested in ...