Airlines are flying some nearly empty planes from the U.S. to Mexico, a sign that swine flu worries may be keeping travelers home.
Travelers had reserved fewer than half the available seats on six Continental Airlines flights Wednesday night, according to the airline’s website. Only five travelers had reserved any of the 157 available seats on one flight from Houston to Cancun, Mexico, set to depart Wednesday night. Twenty minutes before a Continental flight was set to leave Newark, N.J., for Mexico City, 93 of 124 seats were still open.
Continental Airlines Inc. and AMR Corp.'s American Airlines had the most scheduled U.S. flights to Mexico on Wednesday. Continental planned 66 flights and American planned 42. Those two and US Airways Group Inc. are the biggest U.S. carriers to Mexico.
Other airlines also appeared to be struggling.
One US Airways flight from Phoenix to Puerto Vallarta on Wednesday had only seven of 126 seats booked 2 1/2 hours before departure time.