Conventional wisdom is that air travel is directly tied to GDP growth. Expand the economy, increase discretionary income and air travel demand growth follows. Airline strategies, infrastructure investments and aircraft production forecasts are built on this correlation. And historically, it wasn't a bad bet: Following airline deregulation, U.S. enplanements (trips) grew from 326 million in 1979 to 710 million by 2000. At the FAA's annual Aviation Forecast Conference in 2001, the ...


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