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February Airline Traffic Data; February 2004 Domestic Traffic Up 9.3 Percent From February 2003

February Airline Traffic Data; February 2004 Domestic Traffic Up 9.3 Percent From February 2003

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BTS 11-04
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Thursday, May 13, 2004 - The U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) today reported, in a release of preliminary data, that U.S. airlines carried 45.3 million domestic passengers in February, 9.3 percent more than in February 2003 (Table 1).

These passengers were carried on 746,025 flights, up 9.9 percent from the flights operated in February 2003.

In other domestic comparisons from February 2003 to February 2004:

Revenue passenger miles, a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 13.3 percent.

Available seat-miles, a measure of airline capacity, were up 12.4 percent.

Load factor, a measure of how many seats are sold and used, was up 0.6 percentage points.

Flight stage length, the average non-stop distance, was up 3.4 percent.

Passenger trip length, the average distance passengers travel, was up 3.6 percent.

The number of domestic airline passengers rose 2.5 percent in February from January. (Table 2) Month-to-month comparisons may be affected by seasonal factors.

Among airlines, Delta Airlines carried 5.9 million domestic passengers in February, the most of any airline (Table 3).

Among airports, Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta continued in February to be the busiest domestic airport, with 2.8 million passenger boardings (Table 4).

Note that there was one more day in February 2004 than in February 2003 due to Leap Year.

Table 1: Domestic Airline Travel in February

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  February 2003 February 2004
Passengers 41,476,519 45,342,809
Flights 678,865 746,025
Revenue Passenger Miles(000) 34,432,952 39,009,650
Available Seat-Miles(000) 50,469,051 56,727,872
Load factor 68.20% 68.80%
Flight stage length 592 612
Passenger trip length 830 860

Source: T-100 Domestic Market and Segment

Table 2. Total Industry Domestic Enplanements

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Month 2003 2004
January 43,376,634 44,223,326
February 41,476,519 45,342,809
March 50,411,031  
April 47,495,199  
May 49,514,098  
June 52,622,787  
July 56,221,839  
August 54,390,529  
September 44,393,540  
October 50,297,960  
November 47,414,121  
December 49,865,851  

Source: T-100 Domestic Market

Additional airline traffic data can be found on the BTS website at TranStats, the Intermodal Transportation Database at http://transtats.bts.gov. Click on "Aviation", then on "Air Carrier Statistics (Form 41 Traffic)", then click on "T-100 Domestic Market."

Table 3. Top 10 Airlines, ranked by February 2004 Domestic Enplanements

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Rank Airline Name February 2003 January 2003 February 2004 Feb. 2003 Rank
1 Delta Airlines 5,871,287 6,261,054 5,947,669 1
2 Southwest Airlines 5,359,029 5,488,639 5,749,214 2
3 American Airlines 5,225,578 5,660,534 5,495,032 3
4 United Airlines 4,103,472 4,373,000 4,197,443 4
5 Northwest Airlines 3,117,397 3,101,026 3,207,660 5
6 US Airways 2,636,579 2,647,486 2,796,944 6
7 Continental Airlines 2,182,741 2,284,065 2,294,786 7
8 America West Airlines 1,366,113 1,404,771 1,468,971 8
9 American Eagle Airlines 867,613 973,514 1,006,408 9
10 Alaska Airlines 856,459 878,763 967,184 10

Source: T-100 Domestic Market

Table 4. Top 10 Airports ranked by February 2004 Domestic Enplanements

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Rank Airport Name February 2003 January 2003 February 2004 Feb. 2003 Rank
1 Hartsfield-Jackson International 2,559,290 2,690,759 2,781,654 1
2 O’Hare International 2,011,104 2,049,877 2,198,605 2
3 Dallas-Ft Worth International 1,577,100 1,733,235 1,882,726 3
4 Los Angeles International 1,360,900 1,521,371 1,475,487 4
5 Las Vegas McCarran International 1,217,071 1,291,906 1,417,709 6
6 Phoenix Sky Harbor International 1,292,531 1,333,550 1,400,313 5
7 Denver International 1,197,914 1,277,168 1,370,390 7
8 Orlando International 938,082 1,002,883 1,164,245 11
9 Minneapolis-St. Paul International 1,064,964 1,071,851 1,145,021 8
10 Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County 1,029,269 982,615 1,069,843 9

Source: T-100 Domestic Market

Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial air carriers detailing operations, passenger traffic and freight traffic. February 2004 traffic data are preliminary and include data received by BTS from 107 airlines as of May 11. Data are subject to revision.

Revised data from January and previous months are posted on the BTS website at http://transtats.bts.gov. BTS will release March traffic data on June 10.