The president of US Airways said Wednesday that not only were fewer federal employees traveling during this month's partial shutdown of the U.S. government, but that it also led to a drop in business and leisure bookings.
Scott Kirby said that revenue from government travel — about 3 percent of the airline's total last year — plunged 57 percent in the first two weeks of October.
Overall bookings fell 8 percent in the last week of September and first two weeks of October. Trips booked close to the date of the flight — usually by business travelers — fell even more, he said, but bounced back once the fight between congressional Republicans and President Barack Obama ended.
Kirby spoke about the subject during a conference call with analysts after US Airways Group Inc. released third-quarter results.
KIRBY: "We believe that the brouhaha of the past three weeks was a one-time impact, and hopefully an impact that won't be repeated ... demand and bookings snapped back to pre-crisis levels, literally beginning on the morning that the government-funding legislation was signed.
"As we've seen in the past with high-profile threats to the economy, the shutdown affected both business and leisure demand though the effects were most pronounced for business demand ... it does appear that the impact is temporary and over."
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Original headline: US Airways president says shutdown hurt bookings
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