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June Airline Traffic Data: Six-Month Domestic Traffic Up 8.2 Percent From 2003

June Airline Traffic Data: Six-Month Domestic Traffic Up 8.2 Percent From 2003

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BTS 24-04
Roger Lotz
202-366-2246

Thursday, September 16, 2004 - U.S. airlines carried 8.2 percent more domestic passengers in the first half of 2004 than they did during the same period in 2003, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) today reported, in a release of preliminary data (Table 1).

The airlines carried 307.7 million domestic passengers in during the first six months of 2004, up from the 284.4 million in 2003. These passengers were carried on 4.8. million flights, up 3.6 percent from the flights operated in 2003 (Table 2).

In other domestic comparisons from the first six months of 2003 to the first six months of 2004:

Revenue passenger miles, a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 11.2 percent.

Available seat-miles, a measure of airline capacity, were up 8.4 percent.

Load factor, a measure of how many seats are sold and used, was up 1.8 percentage points.

Flight stage length, the average non-stop distance, was up 5.2 percent.

Passenger trip length, the average distance passengers travel, was up 2.9 percent.

Among airlines, Southwest Airlines carried 39.8 million domestic passengers during the first half of 2004, the most of any airline (Table 3).

Among airports, Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta was the busiest U.S. airport for domestic travel during the first six months of 2004, with 18.7 million passenger boardings (Table 4).

Table 1: Total Industry Domestic Enplanements

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Month 2003 2004
January 43,294,291 44,191,628
February 41,449,003 45,656,000
March 50,370,774 54,496,497
April 47,368,701 53,633,777
May 49,461,885 52,568,073
June 52,538,147 57,164,777
July 56,152,979  
August 54,320,275  
September 44,577,353  
October 50,345,777  
November 47,456,552  
December  50,132,233  
Jan-June Total 284,482,801 307,710,752

Source: T-100 Domestic Market

Table 2: Domestic Airline Travel January to June

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  Jan-June 2003 Jan-June 2004
Passengers 284,482,801 307,710,752
Flights 4,673,647 4,839,678
Revenue Passenger Miles(000) 239,055,941 265,800,019
Available Seat-Miles(000) 333,093,510 361,188,603
Load factor 71.8% 73.6%
Flight stage length 574 604
Passenger trip length 840 864

Source: T-100 Domestic Market and Segment

Table 3: Top 10 Airlines, ranked by January to June 2004 Domestic Enplanements

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Rank Airline Name Jan-June 2003 Jan-June 2004 Jan-June 2003 Rank
1 Southwest Airlines 36,636,964 39,842,391 2
2 Delta Air Lines 38,427,310 39,414,562 1
3 American Airlines 35,871,839 36,210,392 3
4 United Airlines 27,596,396 29,129,969 4
5 Northwest Airlines 21,026,881 22,247,359 5
6 US Airways 18,423,814 18,709,014 6
7 Continental Airlines 15,101,353 15,514,869 7
8 America West Airlines 9,407,573 9,752,089 8
9 American Eagle Airlines 5,514,500 6,755,229 10
10 Alaska Airlines 6,057,063  6,696,542 9

Source: T-100 Domestic Market

Table 4: Top 10 Airports ranked by January to June 2004 Domestic Enplanements

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Rank Airport Name Jan-June 2003 Jan-June 2004 Jan-June 2003 Rank
1 Hartsfield-Jackson International 17,332,606 18,686,472 1
2 O'Hare International 13,818,050 14,909,837 2
3 Dallas-Ft Worth International 11,002,407 12,679,021 3
4 Los Angeles International 9,435,045 10,310,374 4
5 Denver International 8,177,705 9,540,491 6
6 Las Vegas McCarran International 8,123,287 9,498,782 7
7 Phoenix Sky Harbor International 8,865,505 9,236,885 5
8 Minneapolis-St. Paul International 7,121,835 7,808,182 8
9 Orlando International 6,262,608 7,396,706 11
10  Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County 6,802,728  7,323,606 9

Source: T-100 Domestic Market

June 2004 Airline Traffic

In June 2004, U.S. airlines carried 57.2 million domestic passengers, 8.8 percent more than in June 2003 (Table 5).

These passengers were carried on 825,417 flights, up 2.1 percent from the flights operated in June 2003.

In other domestic comparisons from June 2003 to June 2004:

Revenue passenger miles, a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 10.5 percent.

Available seat-miles, a measure of airline capacity, were up 7.7 percent.

Load factor, a measure of how many seats are sold and used, was up 2.1 percentage points.

Flight stage length, the average non-stop distance, was up 5.8 percent.

Passenger trip length, the average distance passengers travel, was up 1.6 percent.

The number of domestic airline passengers rose 8.7 percent in June from May (Table 5). Month-to-month comparisons may be affected by seasonal factors.

Among airlines, Southwest Airlines carried 7.4 million domestic passengers during June, the most of any airline (Table 6).

Among airports, Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta was the busiest U.S. airport for domestic travel during June, with 3.4 million passenger boardings (Table 7).

Table 5: Domestic Airline Travel in June

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  June 2003 June 2004
Passengers 52,538,147 57,164,777
Flights 808,571 825,417
Revenue Passenger Miles(000) 44,824,566 49,543,141
Available Seat-Miles(000) 56,999,994 61,389,668
Load factor 78.6% 80.7%
Flight stage length 572 605
Passenger trip length 853 867

Source: T-100 Domestic Market and Segment

Table 6: Top 10 Airlines, ranked by June 2004 Domestic Enplanements

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Rank Airline Name June 2003 May2004 June2004 June 2003 Rank
1 Southwest Airlines 6,778,615 7,143,265 7,376,924 2
2 Delta Air Lines 6,823,463 6,763,930 7,230,138 1
3 American Airlines 6,548,796 6,081,481 6,520,999 3
4 United Airlines 5,038,178 5,120,358 5,604,549 4
5 Northwest Airlines 3,872,273 3,811,950 4,281,734 5
6 US Airways 3,301,177 3,191,354 3,322,300 6
7 Continental Airlines 2,797,292 2,601,105 2,822,594 7
8 America West Airlines 1,708,504 1,675,911 1,781,286 8
9 Alaska Airlines 1,246,523 1,155,343 1,355,855 9
10 American Eagle Airlines 1,034,670 1,200,075 1,275,621 10

Source: T-100 Domestic Market

Table 7: Top 10 Airports ranked by June 2004 Domestic Enplanements

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Rank Airport Name June 2003 May2004 June2004 June 2003 Rank
1 Hartsfield-Jackson International 3,179,911 3,250,108 3,392,852 1
2 O'Hare International 2,604,077 2,595,585 2,890,179 2
3 Dallas-Ft Worth International 2,068,133 2,183,577 2,338,086 3
4 Los Angeles International 1,787,884 1,781,538 1,947,382 4
5 Denver International 1,575,584 1,625,840 1,845,687 5
6 Las Vegas McCarran International 1,433,649 1,682,580 1,651,820 7
7 Phoenix Sky Harbor International 1,565,045 1,567,579 1,620,187 6
8 Minneapolis-St. Paul International 1,354,798 1,281,557 1,529,625 8
9 Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County 1,255,495 1,263,033 1,389,181 9
10 George Bush Intercontinental/Houston 1,226,363 1,187,320 1,270,335 10

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."

Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial air carriers detailing operations, passenger traffic and freight traffic. June 2004 traffic data are preliminary and include data received by BTS from 99 airlines as of September 14. Data are subject to revision.

Revised data from May and previous months are posted on the BTS website at http://transtats.bts.gov. BTS will release July traffic data on October 15.