The sputtering U.S. economy will contribute to a 9% drop in holiday air traffic, according to estimates issued Thursday by the Air Transport Association. But because airlines have reduced capacity by 9%, ATA says planes will still fly about 90% full on the busiest days of the holiday season, Dec. 19 and 27. Though fewer flights should help alleviate delays, an association spokesman said winter weather is always a factor. "If we have good weather, we're going to have smooth operations; if you're going to have bad weather, you're going to have delays," he said.

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