News and notes from Hartsfield-Jackson, the world's busiest airport

Airlines expect 3.5 percent increase in holiday passenger traffic

U.S. airlines expect to handle 51 million passengers over the holiday season from Dec. 15 through Jan. 4, according to an airline industry group.

Airlines for America said that's up 3.5 percent year-over-year. The group counts Dec. 15 through Jan. 4 as the holiday travel period.

The busiest days of the 21-day period will be Thursday Dec. 21, Friday Dec. 22 and Tuesday Dec. 26. The lightest travel days are expected to be Saturday Dec. 16, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve, according to Airlines for America.

The airline lobbying group said 88 percent of passengers traveling in U.S. domestic markets in 2016 had airlines to choose from other than the three big legacy carriers: Delta, United and American.

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Before you fly, check out these AJC articles:

Traveling during the holidays? Navigate Atlanta's airport like a pro with our guide

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About the Author

Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.