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July Airline Traffic Data: Seven-Month Domestic Traffic Up 7.9 Percent From 2003

July Airline Traffic Data: Seven-Month Domestic Traffic Up 7.9 Percent From 2003

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BTS 28-04
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Thursday, October 14, 2004 - U.S. airlines carried 7.9 percent more domestic passengers and flew 3.5 percent more domestic flights during the first seven months of this year than they did during the same period last year , 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 367.8 million domestic passengers during the first seven months of 2004, up from the 340.9 million in 2003. These passengers were carried on 5.7 million flights, up 3.5 percent from the flights operated in 2003 (Table 2).

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

Revenue passenger miles, a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 11.0 percent.

Available seat-miles, a measure of airline capacity, were up 8.5 percent.

Load factor, a measure of how many seats are sold and used, was up 1.7 percentage points.

Flight stage length, the average non-stop distance, was up 5.4 percent.

Passenger trip length, the average distance passengers travel, was up 3.0 percent.

Among airlines, Southwest Airlines carried 47.5 million domestic passengers during the first seven months 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 seven months of 2004, with 22.2 million passenger boardings (Table 4).

July 2004 Airline Traffic

In July 2004, U.S. airlines carried 59.6 million domestic passengers, 6.1 percent more than in July 2003 (Table 5).

These passengers were carried on 847,911 flights, up 0.4 percent from the flights operated in July 2003.

In other month-to-month domestic comparisons from July 2003 to July 2004:

Revenue passenger miles, a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 8.9 percent.

Available seat-miles, a measure of airline capacity, were up 7.3 percent.

Load factor, a measure of how many seats are sold and used, was up 1.2 percentage points.

Flight stage length, the average non-stop distance, was up 7.3 percent.

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

The number of domestic airline passengers rose 4.2 percent in July from June (Table 1). Month-to-month comparisons may be affected by seasonal factors.

Among airlines, Southwest Airlines carried 7.6 million domestic passengers during July, the most of any airline (Table 6).

Among airports, Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta was the busiest U.S. airport for domestic travel during July, with 3.5 million passenger boardings (Table 7).

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. July traffic data are preliminary and include data received by BTS from 92 airlines as of October 13. Data are subject to revision.

Revised data from June 2004 and previous months are posted on the BTS website at http://transtats.bts.gov. BTS will release August traffic data on November 11.

Table 1: Total Industry Domestic Enplanements

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Month 2003 2004
January 43,340,153 44,158,500
February 41,503,697 45,656,000
March 50,436,202 54,498,870
April 47,411,468 53,620,590
May 49,461,885 53,045,721
June 52,587,984 57,227,414
July 56,200,411 59,633,830
August 54,370,516  
September 44,619,685  
October 50,396,545  
November 47,501,933  
December 50,171,775  
Jan-July Total 340,941,800 367,840,925

Source: T-100 Domestic Market

Table 2: Domestic Airline Travel January to July

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  Jan-July 2003 Jan-July 2004
Passengers 340,941,800 367,840,925
Flights 5,520,585 5,712,993
Revenue Passenger Miles(000) 288,105,374 319,893,395
Available Seat-Miles(000) 393,583,084 427,042,373
Load factor 73.2% 74.9%
Flight stage length 574 605
Passenger trip length 845 870

Source: T-100 Domestic Market and Segment

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

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Rank Airline Name Jan-July 2003 Jan-July 2004 Jan-July 2003 Rank
1 Southwest Airlines 43,771,932 47,466,094 2
2 Delta Air Lines 45,618,279 46,883,939 1
3 American Airlines 42,879,802 42,928,542 3
4 United Airlines 32,996,408 34,963,033 4
5 Northwest Airlines 25,239,624 26,719,372 5
6 US Airways 21,917,796 22,183,855 6
7 Continental Airlines 18,121,652 18,493,610 7
8 America West Airlines 11,233,207 11,620,727 8
9 Alaska Airlines 7,433,654 8,176,271 9
10 American Eagle Airlines 6,585,522 8,072,099 11

Source: T-100 Domestic Market

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

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Rank Airport Name Jan-July 2003 Jan-July 2004 Jan-July 2003 Rank
1 Hartsfield-Jackson International 20,667,958 22,204,402 1
2 O'Hare International 16,477,332 17,852,555 2
3 Dallas-Ft Worth International 13,238,197 15,105,604 3
4 Los Angeles International 11,357,230 12,384,878 4
5 Denver International 9,930,660 11,511,556 6
6 Las Vegas McCarran International 9,710,965 11,158,144 7
7 Phoenix Sky Harbor International 10,486,304 10,916,741 5
8 Minneapolis-St. Paul International 8,671,619 9,426,011 8
9 Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County 8,172,832 8,764,312 9
10 Orlando International 7,405,934  8,733,662 11

Source: T-100 Domestic Market

Table 5: Domestic Airline Travel in July

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  July 2003 July 2004
Passengers 56,200,411 59,633,830
Flights 844,783 847,911
Revenue Passenger Miles(000) 48,741,208 53,056,668
Available Seat-Miles(000) 60,138,479 64,513,768
Load factor 81.0% 82.2%
Flight stage length 573 615
Passenger trip length 867 890

Source: T-100 Domestic Market and Segment

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

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Rank Airline Name July 2003 July 2004 July 2003 Rank
1 Southwest Airlines 7,134,968 7,623,703 2
2 Delta Air Lines 7,190,969 7,469,377 1
3 American Airlines 7,007,963 6,718,150 3
4 United Airlines 5,400,012 5,833,064 4
5 Northwest Airlines 4,212,743 4,472,013 5
6 US Airways 3,493,982 3,474,841 6
7 Continental Airlines 3,020,299 2,978,741 7
8 America West Airlines 1,825,634 1,868,638 8
9 Alaska Airlines 1,376,591 1,479,729 9
10 American Eagle Airlines 1,071,022  1,316,870 11

Source: T-100 Domestic Market

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

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Rank Airport Name July 2003 July 2004 July 2003 Rank
1 Hartsfield-Jackson International 3,335,352 3,515,755 1
2 O'Hare International 2,659,101 2,942,954 2
3 Dallas-Ft Worth International 2,225,267 2,401,168 3
4 Los Angeles International 1,922,120 2,074,504 4
5 Denver International 1,740,938 1,971,065 5
6 Phoenix Sky Harbor International 1,620,209 1,679,856 6
7 Las Vegas McCarran International 1,486,025 1,658,105 8
8 Minneapolis-St. Paul International 1,496,636 1,613,735 7
9 Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County 1,355,620 1,447,827 9
10 George Bush Intercontinental/Houston 1,329,464 1,365,950 10

Source: T-100 Domestic Market