We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Plane

Published: 06-05-2023
Airlines are moving to bigger aircraft. What are the pros and cons?

Photo by Miguel Ángel Sanz on Unsplash

Photo by Miguel Ángel Sanz on Unsplash

Summer is coming, and airlines are concerned that another season full of delays and cancellations could ruin their reputation in the eyes of both consumers and the US Department of Transportation.

Reports show that these carriers have a big plan to solve the issue – bigger planes.

The solution seems rather simple. Larger planes fit more passengers. More passengers means more tickets sold and less crowding of bodies at the airport.

Bigger planes with more seats also addresses what airlines regard as “the pilot shortage.” For a number of reasons, airlines believe they don’t have enough pilots to staff all the flights they wish to run.

If more passengers fit on fewer planes, then less pilots are needed. This has airlines turning to aircraft like the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, which seat more people.

This trend of upgauging has been in the works for years. Compared to 5 years ago, more seats are being sold per flight, according to research from Cirium which tracks data from the aviation industry.

The downsides of this strategy is that some regional flights may be left out of the plans. Bigger planes will travel to-and-from major airports like JFK and LAX, but they’re not going to be making stops to smaller airports.

A lack of flight options could also limit the choices that travelers have in the upcoming season.

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