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Domestic Airline Traffic Up 13.1 Percent in April 2004 From April 2003

Domestic Airline Traffic Up 13.1 Percent in April 2004 From April 2003

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BTS 19-04
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Thursday, July 15, 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 53.6 million domestic passengers in April, 13.1 percent more than in April 2003 (Table 1).

These passengers were carried on 814,033 flights, up 5.3 percent from the flights operated in April 2003.

In other domestic comparisons from April 2003 to April 2004:

Revenue passenger miles, a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 16.2 percent.

Available seat-miles, a measure of airline capacity, were up 10.1 percent.

Load factor, a measure of how many seats are sold and used, was up 4.1 percentage points.

Flight stage length, the average non-stop distance, was up 5.0 percent.

Passenger trip length, the average distance passengers travel, was up 2.7 percent.

The number of domestic airline passengers fell 1.7 percent in April from March (Table 2). Month-to-month comparisons may be affected by seasonal factors.

Among airlines, Southwest Airlines carried 7.1 million domestic passengers in April, the most of any airline (Table 3).

Among airports, Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta continued in April to be the busiest domestic airport, with 3.2 million passenger boardings (Table 4).

Table 1: Domestic Airline Travel in April

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  April 2003 April 2004
Passengers 47,368,701 53,558,777
Flights 773,199 814,033
Revenue Passenger Miles(000) 39,791,787 46,244,603
Available Seat-Miles(000) 55,075,814 60,640,730
Load factor 72.2% 76.3%
Flight stage length 575 604
Passenger trip length 840 863

Source: T-100 Domestic Market and Segment

Table 2. Total Industry Domestic Enplanements

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Month 2003 2004
January 43,282,657 44,163,608
February 41,449,003 45,626,458
March 50,370,774 54,494,386
April 47,368,701 53,558,777
May 49,461,887  
June 52,538,182  
July 56,153,032  
August 54,320,293  
September 44,437,552  
October 50,342,428  
November 47,453,413  
December 49,914,438  

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 April 2004 Domestic Enplanements

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Rank Airline Name April2003 March 2004 April 2004 April 2003 Rank
1 Southwest Airlines 6,137,024 7,089,890 7,120,432 2
2 Delta Air Lines 6,160,049 6,947,233 6,711,378 1
3 American Airlines 5,907,580 6,425,910 6,211,663 3
4 United Airlines 4,537,823 5,029,770 5,022,073 4
5 Northwest Airlines 3,500,259 4,021,053 3,834,684 5
6 US Airways 3,227,126 3,335,691 3,413,018 6
7 Continental Airlines 2,521,969 2,762,806 2,751,538 7
8 America West Airlines 1,593,759 1,710,680 1,648,376 8
9 American Eagle Airlines 933,073 1,166,685 1,170,293 11
10 AirTran Airways 955,332 1,142,815 1,143,034 10

Source: T-100 Domestic Market

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

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Rank Airport Name April 2003 March 2004 April 2004 April 2003 Rank
1 Hartsfield-Jackson International 2,846,063 3,298,435 3,209,642 1
2 O'Hare International 2,291,174 2,636,935 2,557,543 2
3 Dallas-Ft Worth International 1,772,905 2,234,246 2,119,749 3
4 Los Angeles International 1,553,639 1,778,262 1,814,798 4
5 Las Vegas McCarran International 1,336,767 1,698,023 1,648,323 6
6 Phoenix Sky Harbor International 1,499,621 1,687,051 1,593,288 5
7 Denver International 1,288,935 1,706,754 1,548,628 7
8 Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County 1,161,724 1,304,586 1,319,087 8
9 Orlando International 1,075,628 1,351,597 1,301,622 10
10 Minneapolis-St. Paul International 1,118,590 1,425,824 1,265,398 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. April 2004 traffic data are preliminary and include data received by BTS from 109 airlines as of July 13. Data are subject to revision.

Revised data from March and previous months are posted on the BTS website at http://transtats.bts.gov. BTS will release May traffic data on August 12.