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4th-Quarter and Annual 2013 Airline Financial Data

Press Release Number: 
BTS 22-14
Date: 
Monday, May 5, 2014
Media Contact: 
Dave Smallen, 202-366-5568

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U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reported a net profit of $7.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, up from a loss of $188 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today in a release of preliminary data (Table 1). 

The 26 scheduled service airlines reported an after-tax net profit for the third consecutive quarter.

In addition to the after-tax net profit based on net income reports, the scheduled service passenger airlines reported a $2.7 billion pre-tax operating profit in the fourth quarter of 2013, up from $557 million profit in the fourth quarter of 2012. The airlines reported a pre-tax operating profit - as a group - for the 12th consecutive quarter (Table 1).

BTS is reporting numbers for net income or loss as well as for operating profit or loss. These are two different measures of airline financial performance. Net income or loss may include non-operating income and expenses, nonrecurring items or income taxes. Operating profit or loss is calculated from operating revenues and expenses before taxes and other nonrecurring items.

Total operating revenue for all passenger airlines in the October to December fourth-quarter of 2013 was $49.1 billion. Airlines collected $29.3 billion from fares, 59.7 percent of total fourth-quarter operating revenue.

Total operating expenses for all passenger airlines in the fourth-quarter of 2013 were $46.4 billion, of which $12.1 billion, or 26.1 percent, was used for fuel and $11.1 billion, or 24.0 percent, was used for labor (Table 1).

Passenger airlines collected a total of $797 million in baggage fees, 1.6 percent of total operating revenue, and $675 million from reservation change fees, 1.4 percent of total operating revenue. Fees are included for calculations of net income, operating revenue and operating profit or loss (Table 1).

Baggage fees and reservation change fees are the only ancillary fees paid by passengers that are reported to BTS as separate items. Other fees, such as revenue from seating assignments and on-board sales of food, beverages, pillows, blankets, and entertainment are combined in different categories and cannot be identified separately.

Fourth-Quarter 2013 Totals for 10 Largest Scheduled Passenger Airlines

The 10 largest scheduled passenger airlines, measured by the number of passengers, reported an after-tax net profit of $7.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013, up from a loss of $233 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 (Table 2). These airlines carried 82.6 percent of U.S. airlines’ scheduled service passengers in the fourth quarter of 2013 and accounted for 96.2 percent of the scheduled passenger airline after-tax net profit.  See Airline Financial Data Press Releases for historic data.

In addition to the after-tax net income reports, the largest airlines reported a $2.1 billion pre-tax operating profit in the fourth quarter of 2013, up from a $400 million pre-tax operating profit in the fourth quarter of 2012 (Table 3). 

2013 Annual Results

U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reported a net profit of $12.7 billion in 2013, up from a profit of $98 million in 2012. The scheduled service airlines reported an after-tax net profit for the fourth consecutive year (Table 4). 

In addition to the after-tax based on net income reports, the scheduled service passenger airlines reported a $12.5 billion pre-tax operating profit in 2013, up from $6.0 billion profit in 2012. The airlines reported a pre-tax operating profit – as a group - for the fifth consecutive year (Table 4).

Total operating revenue for all passenger airlines in the 2013 calendar year was $199.7 billion. Airlines collected $120.6 billion from fares, 60.4 percent of total annual operating revenue.

Total operating expenses for all passenger airlines in 2013 were $187.3 billion, of which $50.1 billion, or 26.7 percent, was used for fuel and $45.0 billion, or 24.0 percent, was used for labor (Table 4).

Passenger airlines collected a total of $3.3 billion in baggage fees, 1.7 percent of total operating revenue, and $2.8 billion from reservation change fees, 1.4 percent of total operating revenue. Fees are included for calculations of net income, operating revenue and operating profit or loss (Table 4).

2013 Annual Totals for 10 Largest Scheduled Passenger Airlines

The 10 largest scheduled passenger airlines, measured by the number of passengers, reported an after-tax net profit of $11.7 billion in 2013 (Table 5). These airlines carried 82.9 percent of U.S. airlines’ scheduled service passengers  in 2013 and accounted for 91.7 percent of the scheduled passenger airline after-tax net profit. 

In addition to the after-tax net income reports, the 10 largest airlines reported a $10.3 billion pre-tax operating profit 2013. These airlines collected 73.7 percent of their total of $149.5 billion in operating revenue from fares (Table 5).

Total operating expenses for the largest airlines in 2013 were $139.2 billion, of which $39.6 billion, or 28.4 percent, was used for fuel and $35.3 billion, or 25.3 percent, was used for labor (Table 6).

Reporting notes

Additional airline financial data can be found on the BTS website, including industry statistics for other individual low-cost and regional airlines. See tables for operating profit/loss, operating revenue and fuel cost and consumption. See the BTS financial databases for more detailed data.

Data are compiled from quarterly financial and monthly traffic reports filed with BTS by commercial air carriers. Financial and traffic data include data received by BTS as of April 30.  Revised carrier data and late data filings will be made available monthly on TranStats on the Monday following the second Tuesday of the month. All data are subject to revision. BTS will release first-quarter 2013 data on June 23.

 

Table 1. Quarterly Scheduled Service Passenger Airlines Financial Reports

Reports from 26 airlines in 4Q 2013

(Millions of dollars)

  4Q 2012 1Q 2013 2Q 2013 3Q 2013 4Q 2013 Dollar Change ($ in millions) 4Q2012-4Q2013
Net Income -188.0 -395.2 2,269.0 3,164.8 7,346.4 7,534.4
Operating Profit/Loss 556.7 587.2 3,731.5 4,729.9 2,702.8 2,146.1
Operating Revenue* 37,116.7 37,279.7 41,340.7 43,244.4 49,052.4 11,935.7
Fares 27,288.9 27,710.0 30,983.8 32,529.7 29,304.5 2,015.6
Baggage Fees 823.3 801.0 871.1 879.7 797.1 -26.2
Reservation Change Fees 613.4 685.3 719.2 734.9 674.7 61.3
Operating Expenses 36,559.9 36,692.6 37,609.2 38,514.5 46,349.6 9,789.7
Fuel 10,715.9 10,609.3 10,907.5 10,901.9 12,085.6 1,369.7
Labor 9,014.8 9,239.5 9,479.6 9,784.7 11,135.3 2,120.5

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedules P1.2 and P6

* Passenger airline operating revenue includes two other categories. Transport-related is revenue from services which grow from and are incidental to the air transportation services performed by the air carrier. Examples are in-flight onboard sales (food, liquor, pillows, etc), code share revenues, revenues from associated businesses (aircraft maintenance, fuel sales, restaurants, vending machines, etc). Miscellaneous operating revenue includes pet transportation, sale of frequent flyer award miles to airline business partners and standby passenger fees. See the P1.2 database http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295.

 

Table 2. Quarterly Large Airline System (Domestic + International) Net Income

Ranked by 4Q 2013 System Passengers

(Net income in millions of dollars)

4Q 2013 Passenger Rank Airline 4Q 2012 1Q 2013 2Q 2013 3Q 2013 4Q 2013 Dollar Change ($ in millions) 4Q2012-4Q2013
1 Southwest* 78.3 58.5 224.0 259.4 212.5 134.2
2 Delta -20.4 6.8 688.7 1,371.6 8,482.1 8,502.5
3 United -574.3 -361.5 484.0 377.4 154.2 728.5
4 American 270.8 -252.8 227.8 289.8 -1,790.5 -2,061.3
5 US Airways 46.7 69.0 325.0 219.6 -130.2 -176.9
6 ExpressJet -3.5 -15.4 -2.6 -5.4 -8.8 -5.3
7 JetBlue 0.8 13.8 36.4 70.8 47.0 46.2
8 SkyWest 19.0 14.4 24.7 30.5 17.5 -1.5
9 Alaska 38.1 33.9 102.2 285.3 75.9 37.8
10 American Eagle -88.3 0.6 12.5 13.6 6.5 94.8
10-Carrier Total -232.8 -432.7 2,122.7 2,912.7 7,066.2 7,299.0
All Passenger Airlines -188.0 -395.2 2,269.0 3,164.8 7,346.4 7,534.4

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedule P1.2

* Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways report financial data jointly but continue separate reporting of passenger data.

 

Table 3. Quarterly Large Airline System (Domestic + International) Operating Profit/Loss

Ranked by 4Q 2013 System Passengers

(Operating Profit/Loss in millions of dollars)

4Q 2013 Passenger Rank Airline 4Q 2012 1Q 2013 2Q 2013 3Q 2013 4Q 2013 Dollar Change ($ in millions) 4Q2012-4Q2013
1 Southwest* 91.4 70.2 432.7 389.7 385.6 294.2
2 Delta 468.3 322.6 949.0 1,696.5 869.6 401.3
3 United -455.5 -259.9 771.1 510.4 237.5 693.0
4 American -6.0 47.0 478.0 682.6 280.7 286.7
5 US Airways 109.1 102.0 476.9 420.8 2.8 -106.3
6 ExpressJet 0.0 -20.0 1.2 -0.8 -8.3 -8.3
7 JetBlue 45.4 58.8 93.3 151.7 110.7 65.3
8 SkyWest 42.5 34.6 51.2 59.2 38.5 -4.0
9 Alaska 88.4 82.5 189.5 453.8 131.3 42.9
10 American Eagle 16.4 8.5 12.1 13.2 9.9 -6.5
10-Carrier Total 399.8 446.3 3,454.9 4,377.1 2,058.3 1,658.5
All Passenger Airlines 556.7 587.2 3,731.5 4,729.9 2,702.8 2,146.1

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedule P1.2

* Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways report financial data jointly but continue separate reporting of passenger data.

 

Table 4. Annual Scheduled Service Passenger Airlines Financial Reports

Reports from 26 airlines in 2013

(Millions of dollars)

  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Dollar Change ($ in millions) 4Q2012-4Q2013
Net Income -2,915.0 2,263.5 489.6 98.3 12,730.1 12,631.8
Operating Profit/Loss 928.2 8,309.3 5,246.0 6,003.3 12,463.5 6,460.2
Operating Revenue* 123,496.6 138,827.0 153,293.9 156,470.3 199,725.2 43,254.9
Fares 91,443.1 103,978.4 114,299.4 115,974.8 120,640.0 4,665.2
Baggage Fees 2,745.2 3,401.1 3,392.7 3,449.7 3,350.1 -99.6
Reservation Change Fees 2,380.5 2,297.6 2,389.5 2,538.2 2,814.1 275.9
Operating Expenses 122,568.4 130,517.7 148,048.0 150,467.0 187,261.7 36,794.7
Fuel 28,289.7 33,158.6 43,754.8 44,901.9 50,070.5 5,168.6
Labor 32,897.7 34,120.9 35,377.0 37,195.3 45,021.6 7,826.3

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedules P1.2 and P6

* Passenger airline operating revenue includes two other categories. Transport-related is revenue from services which grow from and are incidental to the air transportation services performed by the air carrier. Examples are in-flight onboard sales (food, liquor, pillows, etc), code share revenues, revenues from associated businesses (aircraft maintenance, fuel sales, restaurants, vending machines, etc). Miscellaneous operating revenue includes pet transportation, sale of frequent flyer award miles to airline business partners and standby passenger fees. See the P1.2 database http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295.

 

Table 5. Annual Large Airline System (Domestic + International) Net Income and Revenue

Ranked by 2013 System Passengers

(Millions of dollars)

2013 Pssgr Rank Airline Net Income Operating Profit or Loss Operating Revenue Revenue from Fares Percent of Revenue from Fares (%)
1 Delta 10,549.2 3,837.7 37,818.2 25,800.6 68.2
2 Southwest* 754.5 1,278.3 17,699.4 16,722.4 94.5
3 United 654.1 1,259.1 38,287.1 25,853.0 67.5
4 American -1,525.7 1,488.3 25,760.2 19,571.3 76.0
5 US Airways 483.4 1,002.5 14,935.6 9,511.1 63.7
6 ExpressJet -32.3 -28.0 1,466.3 1,465.9 100.0
7 JetBlue 168.0 414.5 5,441.8 4,971.4 91.4
8 SkyWest 87.1 183.4 1,827.6 1,773.6 97.0
9 Alaska 497.3 857.0 5,150.8 3,498.1 67.9
10 American Eagle 33.2 43.8 1,139.0 1,018.5 89.4
10-Carrier Total 11,668.8 10,336.6 149,526.0 110,185.9 73.7
All Passenger Airlines 12,730.1 12,463.5 199,725.2 120,640.0 60.4

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedule P1.2

* Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways report financial data jointly but continue separate reporting of passenger data.

 

Table 6. Annual Large Airline System (Domestic + International) Expenses

Ranked by 2013 System Passengers

(Millions of dollars)

2013 Pssgr Rank Airline Operating Expenses Fuel Costs Percent for Fuel (%) Labor Costs Percent for Labor (%)
1 Delta 33,980.5 9,380.2 27.6 8,337.6 24.5
2 Southwest* 16,421.2 5,762.8 35.1 5,296.1 32.3
3 United 37,028.1 9,990.0 27.0 8,942.9 24.2
4 American 24,271.9 7,633.5 31.4 5,633.0 23.2
5 US Airways 13,933.0 3,465.1 24.9 2,835.3 20.3
6 ExpressJet** 1,494.3 43.9 2.9 724.8 48.5
7 JetBlue 5,027.3 1,899.5 37.8 1,201.9 23.9
8 SkyWest** 1,644.1 160.7 9.8 633.5 38.5
9 Alaska 4,293.8 1,248.8 29.1 1,057.1 24.6
10 American Eagle** 1,095.2 0.4 0.0 610.0 55.7
10-Carrier Total 139,189.4 39,584.9 28.4 35,272.2 25.3
All Passenger Airlines 187,261.7 50,070.5 26.7 45,021.6 24.0

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedule P1.2

* Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways report financial data jointly but continue separate reporting of passenger data.

** Regional airline fuel costs are frequently assumed under contract by mainline carriers.