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2014 Airline Financial Data

Press Release Number: 
BTS 22-15
Date: 
Monday, May 4, 2015
Media Contact: 
Dave Smallen, 202-366-5568

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Updated Tuesday, May 5, 2015

U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reported a net profit of $7.5 billion in 2014 down, from $12.2 billion in 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today (Table 1).

U.S.Scheduled Serive Passenger Airlines Net Income 2010-2014

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U.S.Scheduled Serive Passenger Airlines Net Income 2010-2014

As a group, the 27 U.S. airlines that operated scheduled passenger service in 2014 reported an after-tax net profit for the fifth consecutive year.

In addition to the after-tax net profit based on net income reports, the scheduled service passenger airlines reported a $14.6 billion pre-tax operating profit in 2014, up from $11.3 billion in 2013. As a group, the airlines reported a pre-tax operating profit for the sixth consecutive year (Tables 1, 4).

Net income or loss, and operating profit or loss, 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 U.S. passenger airlines in 2014 was $169.3 billion. Airlines collected $127.5 billion from fares, 75.3 percent of total 2014 operating revenue (Table 7).

Total operating expenses for all passenger airlines in 2014 were $154.7 billion, of which fuel costs accounted for $43.4 billion, or 28.1 percent, and labor costs accounted for $40.8 billion, or 26.4 percent (Table 7).

In 2014, passenger airlines collected a total of $3.5 billion in baggage fees, 2.1 percent of total operating revenue, and $3.0 billion from reservation change fees, 1.8 percent of total operating revenue. Fees are included for calculations of net income, operating revenue and operating profit or loss (Table 7).

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.

See airline financial data press releases and the airline financial databases  for historic data.

Annual Totals for Top 10 Scheduled Passenger Airlines

As a group, the top 10 U.S. scheduled passenger airlines, based on operating revenue, reported an after-tax net profit of $7.1 billion in 2014, down from a profit of $11.9 billion in 2013 (Table 2). These airlines carried 79.4 percent of U.S. airlines’ scheduled service passengers in 2014 and accounted for 95.1 percent of the scheduled passenger airline after-tax net profit. 

In addition to the after-tax net income reports, the 10 top airlines reported a $14.0 billion pre-tax operating profit in 2014, up from a $10.7 billion pre-tax operating profit in 2013 (Table 2). 

Annual Margins for All Scheduled Passenger Airlines

All U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reported a combined net income margin of 4.4 percent in 2014, down from a net margin of 7.5 percent in 2013. Net margin measures net income or loss as a percentage of operating revenue. These airlines reported an operating profit margin of 8.6 percent in 2014, up from 7.0 percent in 2013. Operating margin measures operating profit or loss as a percentage of operating revenue (Table 7).

4th Quarter Results for All Scheduled Passenger Airlines

U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reported a net profit of $241 million in the fourth quarter of 2014, down from $3.1 billion in the third quarter and down from $7.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013 (Table 4). 

As a group, the 27 U.S. scheduled service airlines reported an after-tax net profit for the seventh consecutive quarter.

In addition to the after-tax net profit based on net income reports, the scheduled service passenger airlines reported a $2.0 billion pre-tax operating profit in the fourth quarter of 2014, down from $5.5 billion in the third quarter and down from $2.3 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013. As a group, the airlines reported a pre-tax operating profit for the 16th consecutive quarter (Tables 4, 6).

Total operating revenue for all U.S. passenger airlines in the October-December fourth-quarter of 2014 was $40.9 billion. Airlines collected $30.6 billion from fares, 74.8 percent of total fourth-quarter operating revenue (Table 8).

Total operating expenses for all passenger airlines in the fourth-quarter of 2014 were $38.9 billion, of which fuel costs accounted for $11.0 billion, or 28.1 percent, and labor costs accounted for $10.3 billion, or 26.4 percent (Table 8).

In the fourth quarter, passenger airlines collected a total of $879 million in baggage fees, 2.2 percent of total operating revenue, and $744 million from reservation change fees, 1.8 percent of total operating revenue. Fees are included for calculations of net income, operating revenue and operating profit or loss (Table 8).

4th Quarter Totals for Top 10 Scheduled Passenger Airlines

As a group, the top 10 U.S. scheduled passenger airlines, based on operating revenue, reported an after-tax net profit of $0.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, down from a profit of $3.0 billion in the third quarter and down from a profit of $7.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013 (Table 5). These airlines carried 79.3 percent of U.S. airlines’ scheduled service passengers in the fourth quarter and accounted for 88.8 percent of the scheduled passenger airline after-tax net profit. 

In addition to the after-tax net income reports, the 10 top airlines reported a $1.9 billion pre-tax operating profit in the fourth quarter of 2014, down from a profit of $5.2 billion in the third quarter and down from a $2.2 billion pre-tax operating profit in the fourth quarter of 2013 (Table 6). 

4th Quarter Margins for All Scheduled Passenger Airlines

All U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reported a combined net income margin of 0.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, down from a net margin of 18.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. Net margin measures the net income or loss as a percentage of operating revenue. These airlines reported an operating profit margin of 4.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, down from 5.8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. Operating margin measures the operating profit or loss as a percentage of operating revenue (Table 8).

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. U.S. scheduled passenger airlines are the U.S. airlines that provide scheduled passenger service within the U.S. and between the U.S. and foreign points. Cargo carriers and foreign airlines operating to and from the U.S. are not included.

Financial and traffic data include data received by BTS as of April 20. 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 2015 data on July 21.

 

Table 1. Annual U.S. Scheduled Service Passenger Airlines Financial Reports

Reports from 27 airlines in 2014

(Millions of dollars)

  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Dollar Change ($ in Millions) 2013-2014
Net Income 2,263.5 489.6 98.3 12,168.5 7,459.2 -4,709
Operating Profit/Loss 8,309.3 5,246.0 6,003.3 11,311.0 14,605.1 3,294
Operating Revenue* 138,827.0 153,293.9 156,470.3 161,596.7 169,275.1 7,678
Fares 103,978.4 114,299.4 115,974.8 121,332.9 127,454.0 6,121
Baggage Fees 3,401.1 3,392.7 3,449.7 3,350.1 3,529.3 179
Reservation Change Fees 2,297.6 2,389.5 2,538.2 2,814.1 2,980.7 167
Operating Expenses 130,517.7 148,048.0 150,467.0 150,285.7 154,670.1 4,384
Fuel 33,158.6 43,754.8 44,901.9 42,628.9 43,431.5 803
Labor 34,120.9 35,377.0 37,195.3 38,042.7 40,769.8 2,727

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

* Passenger airline operating revenue includes two other categories. 1) 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). 2) 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. Annual Large Airline Systemwide (Domestic + International) Net Income

Ranked by 2014 Operating Revenue

(millions of dollars)

Rank Airline Net Income Operating Profit or Loss Operating Revenue Revenue from Fares Percent of Revenue from Fares (%)
1 Delta 649 2,925 40,427 28,225 0.70
2 United 1114 2,376 38,901 26,785 0.69
3 American 1,310 2,338 27,140 20,345 0.75
4 Southwest* 1137 2,225 18,605 17,704 0.95
5 US Airways 1482 1,928 15,750 9,970 0.63
6 JetBlue 396 508 5,817 5,354 0.92
7 Alaska 599 958 5,363 3,792 0.71
8 Hawaiian 80 249 2,311 2,038 0.88
9 Spirit 281 355 1,932 1,221 0.63
10 SkyWest 47 122 1,889 1,822 0.96
10-Carrier Total 7,092 13,984 158,134 117,256 0.74
All Passenger Airlines 7,459 14,605 169,275 127,454 0.75

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedule P1.2 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295

* In 2014, Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways reported financial data jointly but reported passenger data separately.

 

Table 3. Annual Large Airline Systemwide (Domestic + International) Expense

Ranked by 2014 Operating Revenue

(millions of dollars)

Rank Airline Operating Expenses Fuel Costs Percent for Fuel (%) Labor Costs Percent for Labor (%)
1 Delta 37,502 11,653 31.1 9,361 25.0
2 United 36,525 9,497 26.0 9,150 25.1
3 American 24,803 7,196 29.0 5,990 24.2
4 Southwest* 16,380 5,293 32.3 5,707 34.8
5 US Airways 13,822 3,372 24.4 2,999 21.7
6 JetBlue 5,309 1,913 36.0 1,372 25.8
7 Alaska 4,505 1,217 27.0 1,118 24.8
8 Hawaiian 2,062 677 32.8 473 22.9
9 Spirit 1,576 613 38.9 314 19.9
10 SkyWest 1,767 175 9.9 688 38.9
10-Carrier Total 144,251 41,604 28.8 37,171 25.8
All Passenger Airlines 154,670 43,432 28.1 40,770 26.4

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedule P1.2 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295

* In 2014, Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways reported financial data jointly but reported passenger data separately.

 

Table 4. Quarterly U.S. Scheduled Service Passenger Airlines Financial Reports

Reports from 27 airlines in 4Q 2014

(Millions of dollars)

  4Q 2013 1Q 2014 2Q 2014 3Q 2014 4Q 2014 Dollar Change 4Q2013-4Q2014
Net Income 7,184 507 3,578 3,133 241 -6,944
Operating Profit/Loss 2,285 1,658 5,499 5,477 1,971 -314
Operating Revenue* 39,549 38,459 44,620 45,287 40,910 1,360
Fares 29,507 28,731 33,670 34,316 30,579 1,072
Baggage Fees 797 791 900 960 879 82
Reservation Change Fees 675 726 753 759 744 69
Operating Expenses 37,264 36,801 39,122 39,809 38,938 1,674
Fuel 10,220 10,190 10,880 11,411 10,950 730
Labor 9,484 9,729 10,294 10,482 10,265 781

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

* Passenger airline operating revenue includes two other categories. 1) 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). 2) 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. Quarterly Large Airline Systemwide (Domestic + International) Net Income

Ranked by 4Q 2014 Operating Revenue

(millions of dollars)

Rank Airline 4Q 2013 1Q 2014 2Q 2014 3Q 2014 4Q 2014 Dollar Change 4Q2013-4Q2014
1 Delta 8,482 218 807 362 -703 -9,185
2 United 154 -580 769 933 -9 -163
3 American -1,791 401 265 466 178 1,969
4 Southwest 213 152 465 329 190 -22
5 US Airways -130 126 605 490 261 391
6 JetBlue 47 -1 231 79 87 40
7 Alaska 76 93 166 192 147 71
8 Hawaiian 19 -3 30 38 15 -4
9 Spirit 43 60 106 67 58 15
10 SkyWest 18 7 19 32 -11 -29
10-Carrier Total 7,131 474 3,463 2,986 214 -6,917
All Passenger Airlines 7,346 507 3,578 3,133 241 -7,106

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedule P1.2 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295

* In 2014, Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways reported financial data jointly but reported passenger data separately.

 

Table 6. Quarterly Large Airline Systemwide (Domestic + International) Operating Profit/Loss

Ranked by 4Q 2014 Operating Revenue

(millions of dollars)

Rank Airline 4Q 2013 1Q 2014 2Q 2014 3Q 2014 4Q 2014 Dollar Change 4Q2013-4Q2014
1 Delta 870 672 1,616 1,409 -772 -1,642
2 United 238 -341 906 1,185 626 388
3 American 281 577 718 698 345 64
4 Southwest 386 215 775 614 620 235
5 US Airways 3 189 678 566 495 493
6 JetBlue 111 43 141 163 161 50
7 Alaska 131 147 257 314 240 108
8 Hawaiian 34 12 54 106 77 43
9 Spirit 68 60 105 100 90 22
10 SkyWest 39 21 42 64 -5 -44
10-Carrier Total 2,159 1,596 5,292 5,219 1,877 -282
All Passenger Airlines 2,285 1,658 5,499 5,477 1,971 -314

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedule P1.2 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295

* In 2014, Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways reported financial data jointly but reported passenger data separately.

 

Table 7. Jan-Dec U.S. Scheduled Passenger Airlines Revenue, Expenses and Profits

Reports from 27 airlines in 2014

(millions of dollars)

  Jan-Dec 2013 Jan-Dec 2014 Change 2013-2014 % Change % of YTD 2014 Revenue or Expense Total
Operating Revenue          
Passenger Fares (scheduled/charter) 121,332.9 127,454.0 6,121.1 5.04 75.29
Cargo 2,961.4 3,078.1 116.7 3.94 1.82
Baggage 3,350.1 3,529.3 179.2 5.35 2.08
Reservation Changes 2,814.1 2,980.7 166.6 5.92 1.76
Transport-Related* 27,507.6 28,125.2 617.6 2.25 16.61
Other** 3,630.6 4,109.0 478.4 13.18 2.43
Total Operating Revenue 161,596.7 169,276.4 7,679.7 4.75 100.00
Operating Expense          
Fuel 42,628.9 43,431.5 802.6 1.88 28.08
Labor 38,042.7 40,769.8 2,727.1 7.17 26.36
Rentals 8,757.6 8,507.5 -250.2 -2.86 5.50
Depreciation & Amortization 6,607.3 7,080.5 473.2 7.16 4.58
Landing Fees 2,739.0 2,803.4 64.4 2.35 1.81
Maintenance Materials 2,710.9 2,881.1 170.2 6.28 1.86
Transport-Related* 20,960.6 20,711.0 -249.6 -1.19 13.39
Other*** 27,838.7 28,486.0 647.3 2.33 18.42
Total Operating Expense 150,285.7 154,670.7 4,385.0 2.92 100.00
Profits or Losses          
Operating Profit 11,311.0 14,605.1 3,294.1 29.12 N/A
Operating Margin**** (%) 7.0 8.6 1.6 N/A N/A
Nonoperating Income/(Expense)# -6,129.2 -4,752.7 1,376.5 -22.46 N/A
Pre-Tax Income 5,181.8 9,852.4 4,670.6 90.13 N/A
Income Tax Benefit/(Expense) 6,997.2 -2,393.2 -9,390.4 -134.20 N/A
Other Income/(Expense) -10.5 0.0 10.5 -100.00 N/A
Net Income 12,168.5 7,459.2 -4,709.3 -38.70 N/A
Net Margin## (%) 7.5 4.4 -3.1 N/A N/A

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedules P1.2 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295 and P6 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=291

* Transport-Related is revenue/expenses 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 and expenses from associated businesses (aircraft maintenance, fuel sales, restaurants, vending machines, etc).

** Other revenue includes miscellaneous operating revenue (including pet transportation, sale of frequent flyer award miles to airline business partners and standby passenger fees) and public service revenues subsidy.

*** Other expense includes purchase of materials such as passenger food and other materials; and purchase of services such as advertising, communication, insurance, outside flight equipment maintenance, traffic commissions and other services.

**** Operating margin is the operating profit or loss as a percentage of operating revenue

# Nonoperating Income and Expense includes interest on long-term debt and capital leases, other interest expense, foreign exchange gains and losses, capital gains and losses and other income and expenses.

## Net margin is the net income or loss as a percentage of operating revenue.

 

Table 8. Quarterly U.S. Scheduled Passenger Airlines Revenue, Expenses and Profits

Reports from 27 airlines in 4Q 2014

(millions of dollars)

  4Q 2013 4Q 2014 Change 2013-2014 % Change % of 4Q 2014 Revenue or Expense Total
Operating Revenue          
Passenger Fares (scheduled/charter) 29,507.0 30,579.0 1,072.0 3.63 74.75
Cargo 762.6 821.6 59.0 7.74 2.01
Baggage 797.1 879.1 82.0 10.28 2.15
Reservation Changes 674.7 743.5 68.8 10.20 1.82
Transport-Related* 6,945.7 6,859.9 -85.8 -1.24 16.77
Other** 862.0 1,026.5 164.5 19.08 2.51
Total Operating Revenue 39,549.1 40,909.6 1,360.5 3.44 100.00
Operating Expense          
Fuel 10,219.8 10,950.1 730.3 7.15 28.12
Labor 9,483.9 10,264.6 780.7 8.23 26.36
Rentals 2,130.0 2,097.9 -32.1 -1.51 5.39
Depreciation & Amortization 1,691.7 1,819.0 127.3 7.52 4.67
Landing Fees 653.4 696.9 43.5 6.66 1.79
Maintenance Materials 618.2 736.6 118.4 19.16 1.89
Transport-Related* 5,243.1 4,954.5 -288.6 -5.50 12.72
Other*** 7,223.8 7,418.1 194.3 2.69 19.05
Total Operating Expense 37,263.9 38,937.8 1,673.9 4.49 100.00
Profits or Losses          
Operating Profit 2,285.2 1,971.2 -314.0 -13.74 N/A
Operating Margin**** (%) 5.78 4.8 -1.0 N/A N/A
Nonoperating Income/(Expense)# -3,127.3 -1,739.4 1,387.9 -44.38 N/A
Pre-Tax Income -842.1 231.8 1,073.9 -127.53 N/A
Income Tax Benefit/(Expense) 8,026.4 8.9 -8,017.5 -99.89 N/A
Other Income/(Expense) -0.1 0.0 0.1 -100.00 N/A
Net Income 7,184.2 240.7 -6,943.5 -96.65 N/A
Net Margin## (%) 18.17 0.6 -17.6 N/A N/A

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedules P1.2 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295 and P6 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=291

* Transport-Related is revenue/expenses 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 and expenses from associated businesses (aircraft maintenance, fuel sales, restaurants, vending machines, etc).

** Other revenue includes miscellaneous operating revenue (including pet transportation, sale of frequent flyer award miles to airline business partners and standby passenger fees) and public service revenues subsidy.

*** Other expense includes purchase of materials such as passenger food and other materials; and purchase of services such as advertising, communication, insurance, outside flight equipment maintenance, traffic commissions and other services.

**** Operating margin is the operating profit or loss as a percentage of operating revenue

# Nonoperating Income and Expense includes interest on long-term debt and capital leases, other interest expense, foreign exchange gains and losses, capital gains and losses and other income and expenses.

## Net margin is the net income or loss as a percentage of operating revenue.