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January 2013 U.S. Airline System Passengers Up 1.6% from January 2012

Press Release Number: 
BTS 18-13
Date: 
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
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 carried 55.3 million scheduled systemwide passengers in January 2013, 1.6 percent more than in January 2012. The systemwide increase was the result of a 1.5 percent increase in the number of domestic passengers (47.8 million) and a 2.3 percent increase in international passengers (7.5 million) (Tables 1, 2, 5, 9).

Passengers on All U.S. Scheduled Airlines (Domestic & International),
February 2008-January 2013

Passengers on All U.S. Scheduled Airlines (Domestic & International), February 2008-January 2013

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

BTS, a part of the Department’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the system load factor of 78.8 percent, the domestic load factor of 78.9 percent and the international load factor of 78.8 percent were record highs for the month of January (Tables 1, 5, 9).

Additional traffic data can be found on the BTS Airlines and Airports page.  Click on a link in the Quick Links box on the right.  For more historical data, see Traffic on the BTS website.

Load Factor and Capacity

Both systemwide and domestic capacity, measured by available seat-miles (ASMs), increased in January 2013 from January 2012 but stronger year-to-year growth in system and domestic revenue passenger-miles (RPMs) resulted in the record January load factors. The previous system and domestic load factor records for January were set in 2012 (Tables 1, 5). In January, for the second consecutive month, international capacity declined from the same month of the previous year. The capacity decline combined with an RPM increase from January 2012 resulted in a record international load factor for the month of January, surpassing the previous high set in January 2010 (Table 9). Load factor is a measure of the use of aircraft capacity that compares RPMs as a proportion of ASMs. See Tables 1, 7 and 13 of Air Traffic Press Releases for previous-year data.

Top Airlines

Monthly: In January, Delta Airlines carried more system passengers than any other U.S. airline (Table 3).  Southwest Airlines carried the most domestic passengers (Table 7). United Airlines carried the most international passengers (Table 11). The top 10 U.S. airlines in terms of number of passengers carried 80.7 percent of systemwide passengers, up from 79.4 percent carried by the U.S. airlines that were in the top 10 in January 2012.

Southwest and AirTran Airways are reporting as separate carriers with the exception of their financial reports.  They have one FAA SOC (single operating certificate), requiring that they utilize the same safety/operating procedures, but they have separate DOT 401 economic certificates, meaning they remain operating as separate economic entities.

Top Airports           

Monthly: In January, more total system and domestic passengers boarded planes at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International than at any other U.S. airport (Tables 4, 8); and more international passengers boarded U.S. carriers at Miami than at any other U.S. airport (Table 12).

Reporting Notes
Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial U.S. air carriers detailing operations, passenger traffic and freight traffic. This release includes data received by BTS from 79 carriers as of April 10 for U.S. carrier scheduled civilian operations. Go to http://www.transtats.bts.gov/releaseinfo.asp for the complete list of reporting and non-reporting carriers. U.S. carriers’ foreign point-to-point flights are included in system and international totals. To create a customized table for passengers, flights, RPMs, ASMs and other data, including non-scheduled service, go to http://apps.bts.gov/xml/air_traffic/src/index.xml#CustomizeTable

Traffic numbers are available on the BTS website at TranStats, the Intermodal Transportation Database, at http://transtats.bts.gov.  Click on “Aviation.”  For system passengers, RPMs and ASMs by carrier through January, 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 January and international numbers through October 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.

International totals in this press release consist of all U.S. carrier operations to and from the U.S. and from one foreign point to another foreign point. TranStats T-100 system and international totals do not include U.S. carriers’ foreign point-to-point flights. For January, U.S. carriers reported 198,830 foreign point-to-point passengers.

Data are subject to revision. BTS has scheduled May 23 for the release of February traffic data.

 

Table 1. Scheduled System (Domestic and International) Airline Travel on U.S. Airlines

  Monthly Previous Calendar Years
Jan 2012 Jan 2013 Change % 2011 2012 Change %
Passengers (in millions) 54.4 55.3 1.6 730.8 736.6 0.8
Flights (in thousands) 747.4 730.7 -2.2 9,478.2 9,283.9 -2.0
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions) 61.1 62.4 2.2 814.4 823.2 1.1
Available Seat-Miles (in billions) 78.7 79.2 0.6 992.7 994.5 0.2
Load Factor* 77.6 78.8 1.2 82.0 82.8 0.8
Flight Stage Length** 747.4 762.5 2.0 742.9 755.2 1.7
Passenger Trip Length*** 1,121.9 1,128.3 0.6 1,114.3 1,117.5 0.3

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

* 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 2. Scheduled System (Domestic and International) Enplanements on U.S. Airlines

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

  2011 2012 2011-2012 Pct. Change 2013 2012-2013 Pct. Change
January 53.7 54.4 1.4 55.3 1.6
February 50.1 53.1 6.1    
March 63.6 64.5 1.4    
April 60.5 61.5 1.6    
May 63.9 63.7 -0.3    
June 66.2 66.6 0.6    
July 69.9 69.2 -1.0    
August 66.3 67.8 2.2    
September 58.1 57.4 -1.1    
October 61.2 60.8 -0.6    
November 58.3 58.7 0.8    
December 59.1 58.9 -0.3    
Yr. Total 730.8 736.6 0.8    

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

 

Table 3. Top 10 U.S. Airlines, ranked by January 2013 Scheduled System (Domestic and International) Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Jan 2013 Rank Carrier Jan 2013 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2012 Rank Jan 2012 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2012-2013
1 Delta 8.508 2 8.084 5.2
2 Southwest* 8.047 1 8.170 -1.5
3 American 6.978 4 6.770 3.1
4 United 6.916 3 6.960 -0.6
5 US Airways 4.375 5 4.291 2.0
6 ExpressJet 2.390 6 2.230 7.2
7 JetBlue 2.383 7 2.163 10.2
8 SkyWest 2.086 8 1.865 11.8
9 Alaska 1.475 10 1.351 9.2
10 American Eagle 1.399 11 1.322 5.8

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

*Southwest and AirTran are reporting as separate carriers with the exception of the financials.  They have one FAA SOC (single operating certificate), requiring that they utilize the same safety/operating procedures, but they have separate DOT 401 economic certificates, meaning they are operating as separate economic entities.

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Note: For previous rankings see BTS Air Traffic Press Releases

 

Table 4. Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by January 2013 Scheduled System (Domestic and International) Enplanements on U.S. Airlines*

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Jan 2013 Rank Airport Jan 2013 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2012 Rank Jan 2012 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2012-2013
1 Atlanta 3.293 1 3.194 3.1
2 Dallas/Fort Worth 2.192 3 2.034 7.8
3 Chicago O'Hare 2.137 2 2.080 2.7
4 Denver 1.931 4 1.873 3.1
5 Los Angeles 1.863 5 1.868 -0.3
6 Charlotte 1.591 7 1.521 4.6
7 Phoenix 1.509 6 1.524 -1.0
8 Houston Bush 1.394 9 1.401 -0.5
9 Las Vegas 1.390 8 1.429 -2.7
10 Miami 1.331 10 1.364 -2.4

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

* Numbers do not include international enplanements on foreign carriers

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

 

Table 5. Domestic Scheduled Airline Travel on U.S. Airlines

  Monthly Previous Calendar Years
Jan 2012 Jan 2013 Change % 2011 2012 Change %
Passengers (in millions) 47.1 47.8 1.5 638.2 642.2 0.6
Flights (in thousands) 677.7 660.5 -2.5 8,647.3 8,441.3 -2.4
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions) 41.7 42.7 2.5 563.6 568.7 0.9
Available Seat-Miles (in billions) 53.4 54.1 1.3 680.1 682.0 0.3
Load Factor* 78.1 78.9 0.8 82.9 83.4 0.5
Flight Stage Length** 637.9 652.9 2.4 635.8 646.8 1.7
Passenger Trip Length*** 885.1 893.6 1.0 883.1 885.5 0.3

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

* 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. Domestic Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Airlines

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

  2011 2012 2011-2012 Pct. Change 2013 2012-2013 Pct. Change
January 46.3 47.1 1.7 47.8 1.5
February 43.7 46.4 6.4    
March 55.6 56.2 1.0    
April 52.9 53.7 1.6    
May 56.0 55.7 -0.4    
June 57.8 57.9 0.2    
July 60.3 59.7 -1.0    
August 57.4 58.6 2.2    
September 51.0 50.1 -1.7    
October 54.1 53.7 -0.8    
November 51.7 51.8 0.4    
December 51.5 51.2 -0.7    
Yr. Total 638.2 642.2 0.6    

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

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

 

Table 7. Top 10 U.S. Airlines, ranked by January 2013 Domestic Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

January 2013 Rank Carrier January 2013 Enplaned Passengers January 2012 Rank January 2012 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2012-2013
1 Southwest* 8.047 1 8.170 -1.5
2 Delta 6.945 2 6.545 6.1
3 American 5.196 3 4.997 4.0
4 United 4.954 4 4.984 -0.6
5 US Airways 3.860 5 3.791 1.8
6 ExpressJet 2.157 6 2.039 5.8
7 JetBlue 2.041 7 1.864 9.5
8 SkyWest 1.979 8 1.771 11.8
9 Alaska 1.317 11 1.188 10.9
10 AirTran 1.266 9 1.517 -16.6

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

* Southwest and AirTran are reporting as separate carriers with the exception of the financials. They have one FAA SOC (single operating certificate), requiring that they utilize the same safety/operating procedures, but they have separate DOT 401 economic certificates, meaning they are operating as separate economic entities.

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Note: For previous rankings see BTS Air Traffic Press Releases

 

Table 8. Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by January 2013 Domestic Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Jan 2013 Rank Airport Jan 2013 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2012 Rank Jan 2012 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2012-2013
1 Atlanta 2.986 1 2.887 3.4
2 Dallas/Fort Worth 1.994 3 1.855 7.5
3 Chicago O'Hare 1.928 2 1.870 3.1
4 Denver 1.879 4 1.823 3.1
5 Los Angeles 1.714 5 1.712 0.2
6 Charlotte 1.496 7 1.427 4.8
7 Phoenix 1.444 6 1.455 -0.8
8 Las Vegas 1.388 8 1.427 -2.7
9 Orlando 1.232 9 1.248 -1.3
10 San Francisco 1.175 10 1.184 -0.8

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

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

 

Table 9. International Scheduled Airline Travel on U.S. Airlines

  Monthly Previous Calendar Years
Jan 2012 Jan 2013 Change % 2011 2012 Change %
Passengers (in millions) 7.4 7.5 2.3 92.5 94.4 2.0
Flights (in thousands) 69.7 70.2 0.8 830.9 842.6 1.4
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions) 19.4 19.7 1.6 250.7 254.5 1.5
Available Seat-Miles (in billions) 25.3 25.0 -0.9 312.6 312.5 0.0
Load Factor* 76.7 78.8 2.1 80.2 81.4 1.2
Flight Stage Length** 1,812.4 1,793.0 -1.1 1,857.4 1,841.4 -0.9
Passenger Trip Length*** 2,635.8 2,618.3 -0.7 2,708.9 2,695.7 -0.5

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

* 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 10. International Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Airlines

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

  2011 2012 2011-2012 Pct. Change 2013 2012-2013 Pct. Change
January 7.4 7.4 -0.3 7.5 2.3
February 6.4 6.7 4.4    
March 7.9 8.3 4.2    
April 7.7 7.8 1.7    
May 7.9 7.9 0.7    
June 8.5 8.7 2.8    
July 9.6 9.5 -1.0    
August 8.9 9.1 2.4    
September 7.1 7.3 2.8    
October 7.1 7.2 1.0    
November 6.6 6.9 4.3    
December 7.5 7.7 2.3    
Yr. Total 92.5 94.4 2.0    

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

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

 

Table 11. Top 10 U.S. Airlines, ranked by January 2013 International Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

Jan 2013 Rank Carrier Jan 2013 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2012 Rank Jan 2012 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2012-2013
1 United 1,962.2 1 1,975.7 -0.7
2 American 1,781.9 2 1,773.0 0.5
3 Delta 1,562.1 3 1,539.5 1.5
4 US Airways 515.3 4 500.1 3.0
5 JetBlue 342.2 5 299.7 14.2
6 ExpressJet 232.7 6 191.4 21.6
7 Alaska 158.4 7 163.5 -3.1
8 American Eagle 142.3 10 92.2 54.3
9 AirTran* 115.3 11 86.3 33.6
10 SkyWest 107.1 9 94.2 13.7

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

* Southwest and AirTran are reporting as separate carriers with the exception of the financials. They have one FAA SOC (single operating certificate), requiring that they utilize the same safety/operating procedures, but they have separate DOT 401 economic certificates, meaning they are operating as separate economic entities.

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Note: For previous rankings see BTS Air Traffic Press Releases

 

Table 12. Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by January 2013 International Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Airlines*

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

Jan 2013 Rank Airport Jan 2013 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2012 Rank Jan 2012 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2012-2013
1 Miami 497.2 1 504.5 -1.5
2 New York JFK 345.6 2 327.8 5.4
3 Atlanta 307.6 3 307.0 0.2
4 Newark 299.4 4 296.2 1.1
5 Houston Bush 268.3 5 271.2 -1.1
6 Chicago O'Hare 208.3 6 209.5 -0.6
7 Dallas/Fort Worth 198.0 7 178.4 11.0
8 Los Angeles 148.2 8 156.7 -5.4
9 San Francisco 128.2 9 125.6 2.1
10 Philadelphia 112.0 11 109.4 2.3

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

* Numbers do not include international enplanements on foreign carriers

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.