Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - The Air Travel Price Index (ATPI) rose 0.6 percent in the first quarter of 2004 from the same period in 2003 (Table 1), the Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported today.
The first quarter level was 108.6 (1Q1995=100), the highest first quarter since 2001.
The biggest year-to-year fare decrease among the 85 largest airline markets, ranked by originating passengers, was 8.1 percent in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Other top declines were in Santa Ana (Orange County) CA, Boston, Las Vegas and Long Beach. The largest year-to-year fare increase was 21.4 percent in Kona, Hawaii. In fact, the top four fare increases all took place at Hawaii airports. Richmond had the largest increase of any other city (Table 4).
The biggest eight-year fare decrease was 13.3 percent in Manchester. Other top declines were in Grand Rapids, Raleigh/Durham, Des Moines and Orlando. The largest eight-year fare increase was 216.7 percent in Lihue (Kauai). Four of the top fare increases took place at Hawaii airports. Anchorage had the largest increase of any other city.
The ATPI is a quarterly measure of changes in airfares since the first quarter of 1995 for itineraries on
ATPI shows that airline ticket prices in the first quarter of 2004 were 7.1 percent below their high in the first quarter of 2001. In the first quarter of 2001, fares reached their highest level of any first quarter since the base period in 1995 (Table 2).
In addition, first-quarter 2004 airfares rose 1.91 percent from the fourth quarter of 2003. Quarter-to-quarter changes may be affected by seasonal factors. The fourth quarter 2003 ATPI, previously reported as 106.33, has been revised upward to 106.56 to reflect records received late from the reporting carriers (Table 3). Several city ATPIs have also been revised.
Additional information about the ATPI, including indexes for foreign-origin itineraries and the top 85 air travel markets based on originating passengers, can be found on the BTS website, http://www.bts.gov/xml/atpi/src/index.xml. The second quarter 2004 ATPI will be released in October.
Cities covered are:
Arizona: Phoenix, Tucson
Arkansas: Little Rock
California: Burbank, Greater Los Angeles, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland, Ontario, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Ana (Orange County)
Colorado: Colorado Springs, Denver
District of Columbia: Washington, DC
Florida: Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach
Georgia: Atlanta, Savannah
Hawaii: Honolulu, Kahului (Maui), Kona, Lihue (Kauai)
Iowa: Des Moines
Louisiana: New Orleans
Michigan: Detroit, Grand Rapids
Minnesota: Minneapolis/St. Paul
Missouri: Kansas City, St. Louis
Nevada: Las Vegas, Reno
New Hampshire: Manchester
New Jersey: New York/Newark
New Mexico: Albuquerque
New York: Albany, Buffalo, Long Island, New York/Newark, Rochester, Syracuse
North Carolina: Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh/Durham
Ohio: Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton
Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh
Rhode Island: Providence
South Carolina: Charleston
Tennessee: Memphis, Nashville
Texas: Austin, Dallas/Ft. Worth, El Paso, Houston, San Antonio
Utah: Salt Lake City
Virginia: Norfolk, Richmond
Washington: Seattle, Spokane
Puerto Rico: San Juan
The ATPI series are computed using price index methodology similar to that used by other federal statistical agencies. Although the ATPI is computed using a tested index methodology, the effective application of this methodology to the airlines' data is still under development and it is considered a research series at this time.
First Quarter to First Quarter
|Percent change to First Quarter 2004||Since . . .||Duration|
SOURCE: BTS, 2004
|ATPI||Percent change from previous year|
SOURCE: BTS, 2004
(First Quarter 1995 = 100). Quarter-to-quarter changes may be affected by seasonal factors.
|ATPI||Percent change from previous quarter|
|First Quarter 2003||107.98||3.1|
|Second Quarter 2003||105.79||-2.0|
|Third Quarter 2003||105.53||-0.2|
|Fourth Quarter 2003||106.56||1.0|
|First Quarter 2004||108.59||1.9|
SOURCE: BTS, 2004
First Quarter 2002 to First Quarter 2003 (First Quarter 1995 = 100)
|First Quarter 2003||First Quarter 2004||Percent change from previous year|
|Lihue (Kauai), HI||180.70||216.70||19.9|
|Kahului (Maui), HI||117.67||136.99||16.4|
|Long Beach, CA||129.72||124.27||-4.2|
|Las Vegas, NV||126.38||120.92||-4.3|
|Santa Ana (Orange Cty), CA||109.96||103.59||-5.8|
|San Juan, PR||124.41||114.40||-8.0|
SOURCE: BTS, 2004
Brief Explanation of the ATPI
The ATPI is based on fares paid by travelers and draws its data from the BTS Passenger Origin and Destination Survey. Through this survey, BTS collects information from the airlines on a 10-percent sample of airline tickets. Each ticket sold is assigned an identification number, and if this number ends in 0, the ticket is in the sample.
The index measures the aggregate change in the cost of itineraries originating in the
The index uses the first quarter of 1995 as the reference point (expressed as the number 100) against which all subsequent quarterly prices are measured. ATPI values below 100 represent overall "cost of flying" levels less than those in the first quarter of 1995, while values above 100 represent cost of flying levels that exceed those of the first quarter of 1995. ATPI levels can be used to compute percentage changes in overall fare costs between any two quarters in an ATPI series.
Unlike many other price index estimates, the ATPI is not based on a fixed "market basket" of air travel services. Rather, all of the data from the Passenger Origin and Destination (O&D) Survey are fed into the estimation system each quarter, and this collection of itineraries varies from one quarter to the next. New entry, including routes and carriers, will not be included in the ATPI calculations until it has been present in the O&D Survey for two consecutive quarters.
The ATPI differs from the Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) airfare index, a component of the Consumer Price Index. The BLS index is based on fares advertised through SABRE, a leading computerized airline ticket reservation system, while the ATPI uses actual fares paid by travelers. Since a growing number of tickets are purchased through the internet at discounted prices not listed with SABRE, the ATPI does not show the same levels of increases as the BLS index.
For price comparison purposes, itineraries flown in each quarter are "matched up" with identical or very similar itineraries flown in other quarters. A price index formula is then used to compute aggregate index estimates such as those that appear in this release.
The fares reported in the O&D Survey include taxes, so the ATPI values reflect changes in tax rates as well as changes in fares received by the airlines. The ATPI values in this release are not adjusted for seasonality, so some movements in the series are due to seasonal variations in airfares.