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Summary 2014 U.S.-Based Airline Traffic Data

Press Release Number: 
BTS 15-15
Date: 
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Media Contact: 
Dave Smallen, 202-366-5568

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today that U.S. airlines and foreign airlines serving the United States carried an all-time high of 848.1 million systemwide (domestic and international) scheduled service passengers in 2014, 2.5 percent more than in 2013 and 1.2 percent more than the previous record-high of 838.4 million reached in 2007. The systemwide increase was the result of a 2.6 percent rise in the number of passengers on domestic flights (662.3 million) and 2.3 percent growth in passengers on U.S. and foreign airlines’ flights to and from the U.S. (185.8 million) (Tables 1, 1A, 5).

Passengers on All Scheduled U.S.-Based Flights,
Domestic and International, 2003-2014

Table Version | Excel

Passengers on All Scheduled U.S.-Based Flights, Domestic and International, 2003-2014

SOURCE for Recession Dates: National Bureau of Economic Research, US Business Cycle Expansions and Contractions

U.S. airlines carried 2.6 percent more passengers on domestic flights and 2.4 percent more passengers on international flights in 2014 than in 2013 for a systemwide increase of 2.6 percent. Foreign airlines carried 2.3 percent fewer passengers to and from the U.S. than in 2013. Despite the decline in travel on foreign airlines, the 185.8 million passengers on international flights to and from the U.S. was a record high, exceeding the previous high set in 2013 (Table 1A).

This annual release includes preliminary data on U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service, and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States.  BTS regular monthly air traffic releases include data on U.S. carrier scheduled service only.  For U.S. domestic service data for 2014, see the BTS December Air Traffic  press release.

Trends

The 2.5 percent increase in total passengers from 2013 to 2014 was led by the domestic rise of 2.6 percent. The number of passengers on international flights rose 3.6 percent during the first 10 months of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. In the last two months of 2014, the number declined 3.8 percent from 2013.  For the entire year, the number of passengers on international flights increased 2.3 percent over 2013 (Tables 2, 6).  For domestic numbers see Table 21 of BTS December Air Traffic press release.

Airlines with Most Passengers in 2014

Delta Air Lines carried more total system passengers in 2014 than any other U.S. airline for the fifth consecutive year. United Airlines carried more passengers on international flights to and from the U.S. in 2014 than any other U.S. or foreign carrier for the third consecutive year. British Airways carried the most passengers on flights to and from the U.S. of any foreign airline (Tables 3 and 7).

U.S. Airports with Most Passengers in 2014

More total system passengers boarded planes in 2014 at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International than at any other U.S. airport. More passengers boarded international flights at New York John F. Kennedy than at any other U.S. airport (Tables 4 and 8).

Load Factor and Capacity

From 2013 to 2014, systemwide demand, measured in Revenue Passenger-Miles (RPMs) rose slightly less than capacity measured in Available Seat-Miles (ASMs). As a result, load factor declined in 2014 to 82.7 from 82.8 in 2013, which was the highest annual systemwide load factor on record for U.S. carriers and foreign carriers serving the United States (Table 1). 

Demand on international flights, measured in RPMs, rose 3.1 percent in 2014, less than the 4.4 percent rise in capacity measured in ASMs. The result was a decline in the international load factor to 81.1 from 82.1 in 2013, which was the highest annual international load factor on record for U.S. carriers and foreign carriers serving the United States (Table 5).  The international load factor decline from 2013 to 2014 produced the systemwide decline as U.S. airline domestic load factor reached an all-time high of 84.5 in 2014, exceeding the previous high of 83.5 set in 2013. 

For annual airline and airport statistics, Tables 1 through 4 provide combined domestic and international travel statistics, and Tables 5 through 8 provide international travel statistics.

Reporting Notes

Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial U.S. and foreign air carriers detailing operations, passenger traffic and freight traffic. This release includes data received by BTS from 202 carriers as of March 3 for U.S. and foreign carrier scheduled civilian operations. See the complete list of reporting and non-reporting carriers

Southwest and AirTran Airways are reporting as separate carriers with the exception of their financial reports.  They have one Federal Aviation Administration SOC (single operating certificate), requiring that they use the same safety/operating procedures, but as of December 2014 they had separate air carrier economic certificates issued by the Department’s Office of the Secretary, meaning they remain operating as separate economic entities. American and US Airways, following their December 2013 merger announcement, will report separately until the Department approves single carrier reporting and a single economic certificate is issued.

For additional passenger, flight, Revenue Passenger-Miles, Available Seat-Miles, load factor and freight numbers, go to the Airlines and Airports page and use the Quick Links. International totals and results for foreign carriers may differ from the press release until the next database update scheduled for April 16. These tables do not include U.S. carrier foreign point-to-point operations. For 2014, U.S. carriers reported 1,699,297 foreign point-to-point passengers.

To create a customized table for U.S. carrier passengers, flights, RPMs, ASMs and other data, including non-scheduled service, go to BTS Air Carrier Traffic Statistics.

Additional traffic numbers are available on the BTS website at TranStats.  Click on “Aviation.”  For U.S. carrier system passengers, RPMs and ASMs by carrier through December, click on “Air Carrier Summary Data (Form 41 and 298C Summary Data),” and then click on “Schedule T-1.” Use crosstabs to find scheduled service.

For domestic numbers through December and international numbers through September by origin as well as by carrier, after clicking on “Aviation,” click on “Air Carrier Statistics (Form 41 Traffic).”  Click on “T-100 Market” for system passenger numbers, “T-100 Domestic Market” for domestic or “T-100 International Market” for international.  For flights, stage length and trip length, use the appropriate T-100 Segment database. Use crosstabs to find scheduled service. Complete international data for the full year 2014 will be released on June 11.

TranStats system and international totals do not include U.S. carriers’ foreign point-to-point flights. None of the data are from samples so measures of statistical significance do not apply. Data in this press release is not seasonally adjusted.

 

Table 1. Travel on U.S. Carriers and on Foreign Carriers' U.S. Flights*

  Annual
2013 2014 Change %
Passengers (in millions) 827.3 848.1 2.5
Flights (in thousands) 9,724.7 9,486.9 -2.4
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions) 1,172.5 1,207.7 3.0
Available Seat-Miles (in billions) 1,416.7 1,459.9 3.0
Load Factor** 82.8 82.7 0.0
Flight Stage Length*** 884.6 912.4 3.1
Passenger Trip Length**** 1,417.4 1,424.1 0.5

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market and Segment

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States. For U.S. carrier domestic and international service service data for 2014, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release: http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/press_releases/bts012_15

** Change in load factor points

*** The average non-stop distance flown per departure in miles

**** The average distance flown per passenger in miles

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

 

Table 1A. Annual Enplanements on U.S. Carriers and on Foreign Carriers' U.S. Flights 2013-2014

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

  2013 2014 Change %
U.S. Carrier Domestic 645.6 662.3 2.6
International 97.5 99.8 2.4
System 743.1 762.1 2.6
Foreign Carrier To and From U.S. 82.9 81.0 -2.3
Total   826.0 843.1 2.1

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

 

Table 2. Monthly Enplanements on U.S. Carriers and on Foreign Carriers' U.S. Flights*

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

  2012 2013 2012-2013 Pct. Change 2014 2013-2014 Pct. Change
January 60.5 61.8 2.1 62.7 1.5
February 58.3 58.0 -0.6 58.1 0.2
March 70.8 72.0 1.6 73.5 2.2
April 67.9 67.7 -0.2 70.7 4.4
May 70.2 72.1 2.7 74.1 2.8
June 73.7 74.6 1.2 76.5 2.6
July 76.9 77.2 0.5 80.5 4.3
August 75.5 76.0 0.7 77.9 2.5
September 64.1 65.2 1.7 67.3 3.2
October 67.4 69.2 2.7 71.5 3.3
November 64.8 63.9 -1.4 65.0 1.7
December 65.5 69.6 6.3 70.2 0.8
Yr. Total 815.5 827.3 1.4 848.1 2.5

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States. For U.S. carrier domestic and international service data for 2014, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release: http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/press_releases/bts012_15

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

 

Table 3. Airlines Ranked by 2014 U.S.-Based Scheduled Domestic and International Enplanements*

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

2014 Rank Carrier 2014 Enplaned Passengers 2013 Rank 2013 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2013-2014
1 Delta 129.210 1 120.389 7.3
2 Southwest** 127.195 2 115.323 10.3
3 United 90.373 3 90.113 0.3
4 American 87.830 4 86.823 1.2
5 US Airways 57.514 5 57.007 0.9
6 JetBlue 32.056 7 30.428 5.4
7 ExpressJet 30.950 6 32.957 -6.1
8 SkyWest 27.786 8 27.139 2.4
9 Alaska 20.935 9 19.700 6.3
10 Envoy 16.110 11 17.748 -9.2

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States. For U.S. carrier domestic and international service data for 2014, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release: http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/press_releases/bts012_15

** Southwest’s numbers do not include AirTran. The merged Southwest and AirTran reported separately through December 2014 although operating under a single certificate.

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

 

Table 4. U.S. Airports Ranked by 2014 Scheduled Domestic and International Enplanements on U.S. and Foreign Airlines*

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

2014 Rank Airport 2014 Enplaned Passengers 2013 Rank 2013 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2013-2014
1 Atlanta 46.566 1 45.272 2.9
2 Los Angeles 33.936 2 32.414 4.7
3 Chicago O'Hare 33.447 3 32.212 3.8
4 Dallas/Fort Worth 30.616 4 29.015 5.5
5 Denver 25.948 5 25.467 1.9
6 New York JFK 25.919 6 25.049 3.5
7 San Francisco 22.588 7 21.691 4.1
8 Charlotte 21.520 8 21.328 0.9
9 Phoenix 20.260 10 19.504 3.9
10 Las Vegas 20.212 9 19.841 1.9

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States. For U.S. carrier domestic and internationa service data for 2014, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release: http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/press_releases/bts012_15

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

 

Table 5. International Travel on U.S. Carriers and on Foreign Carriers' U.S. Flights*

  Annual
2013 2014 Change %
Passengers (in millions) 181.6 185.8 2.3
Flights (in thousands) 1,401.3 1,399.9 -0.1
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions) 593.8 612.2 3.1
Available Seat-Miles (in billions) 723.4 754.9 4.4
Load Factor* 82.1 81.1 -1.0
Flight Stage Length** 2,227.9 2,292.2 2.9
Passenger Trip Length*** 3,270.1 3,294.7 0.8

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market and Segment

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States. For U.S. carrier domestic and international service data for 2014, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release: http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/press_releases/bts012_15

** Change in load factor points

*** The average non-stop distance flown per departure in miles

**** The average distance flown per passenger in miles

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

 

Table 6. Monthly International Enplanements on U.S. Carriers and on Foreign Carriers' U.S. Flights*

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

  2012 2013 2012-2013 Pct. Change 2014 2013-2014 Pct. Change
January 13.4 14.0 4.2 14.8 5.7
February 11.9 12.2 2.6 12.5 2.6
March 14.6 15.4 5.5 15.8 2.6
April 14.2 14.5 2.1 15.4 6.6
May 14.5 15.5 7.3 16.3 4.6
June 15.8 16.6 5.2 17.3 4.0
July 17.2 17.9 4.5 18.8 4.7
August 16.8 17.9 6.1 18.1 1.4
September 14.0 14.4 3.2 14.8 2.4
October 13.6 14.5 6.8 14.6 0.3
November 12.9 13.3 3.0 12.6 -5.4
December 14.3 15.3 6.8 14.9 -2.6
Yr. Total 173.2 181.6 4.8 185.8 2.3

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States. For U.S. carrier domestic and international service data for 2014, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release: http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/press_releases/bts012_15.

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

 

Table 7. Airlines Ranked by 2014 International Scheduled Enplanements to and from the U.S.*

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

2014 Rank Carrier 2014 Enplaned Passengers 2013 Rank 2013 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2013-2014
1 United 25,704.9 1 24,999.4 2.8
2 Delta 22,990.3 2 22,016.9 4.4
3 American 21,445.9 3 21,770.3 -1.5
4 British Airways 6,993.0 5 6,666.2 4.9
5 US Airways 6,868.0 4 7,008.1 -2.0
6 JetBlue 5,607.4 8 4,589.1 22.2
7 Lufthansa 5,377.8 7 5,272.3 2.0
8 WestJet 4,286.8 9 3,933.1 9.0
9 Air Canada** 3,936.8 6 5,778.6 -31.9
10 Air France 3,350.2 10 3,431.2 -2.4

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States. For U.S. carrier domestic and international service data for 2014, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release: http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/press_releases/bts012_15.

** Air Canada 2014 passenger numbers revised on March 31, 2015.

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

 

Table 8. U.S. Airports Ranked by 2014 International Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Carriers and on Foreign Carriers' U.S. Flights*

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

2014 Rank Airport 2014 Enplaned Passengers 2013 Rank 2013 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2013-2014
1 New York JFK 13,458.9 1 13,080.8 2.9
2 Miami 9,670.8 2 9,828.2 -1.6
3 Los Angeles 8,915.6 3 8,595.3 3.7
4 Newark 5,660.2 4 5,615.4 0.8
5 Chicago O'Hare 5,348.6 5 5,261.0 1.7
6 Atlanta 5,234.6 6 4,943.6 5.9
7 San Francisco 4,861.6 7 4,726.4 2.9
8 Houston Bush 4,687.3 8 4,353.3 7.7
9 Washington Dulles 3,389.8 9 3,366.8 0.7
10 Dallas/Fort Worth 3,386.2 10 3,209.6 5.5

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States. For U.S. carrier domestic and international service data for 2014, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release: http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/press_releases/bts012_15.

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.