Air travel is something that many take for granted and for several decades prior to 2001 there was a steady and rapid increase in the number of individuals flying the friendly skies. Airlines went from full service, high-end experiences to faster, more economical features which customers gradually became accustomed to. Then September 11, 2001 came and the events of that day changed the face of the airline industry forever. It effectively dropped the number of airline passengers and left many fearing for their safety when in the air.
The airline industry is comprised of 14 major passenger airlines. Eleven of which are passenger and three of which are strictly cargo and each with operating revenues of approximately one billion dollars a year. Each of these is struggling trying to get their piece of the pie. Some are expanding service routes to catch a larger sect of the population while others are reducing fares in an attempt to pull some of the customers away from their competitors.
Since September 11, 2001 the airline industry has done some recovering but it is a long way back to where they were prior to the events of this day. These days, and especially in the current economy, there are many who are struggling and that combined with many who are still fearful of flying it is likely to be a long road of recovery for the airline industry.
This industry must find ways in which to improve customer security and safety while coming up with lower fares and keeping costs down. It is a very difficult business and with 38 percent of the money that is coming in being used just to pay for labor it is likely that some of the major airlines have many different things to look at and evaluate as they move forward. Finding ways to cut back expenses while still growing a business can be a difficult balance and one that is difficult to attain. Reaching that place of balance will however be key to the success or failure of the individual airlines.
As passenger volume continues to return to normal and with the help of a more stringent budget it is likely that most airlines will be able to pull themselves up out of a hole before long. However, it is important to realize that even if the customer flow returns, without some changes to the financial structure of the industry some airlines will likely lose ground and go under which will not help due to the competitive nature of this industry.