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November Airline Traffic Data: 11-Month Domestic Traffic Up 7.7 Percent from 2003

November Airline Traffic Data: 11-Month Domestic Traffic Up 7.7 Percent from 2003

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BTS 08-05
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Thursday, February 10, 2005 - U.S. airlines carried 7.7 percent more domestic passengers and flew 3.9 percent more domestic flights during the first 11 months 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 578.5 million domestic passengers during the first 11 months of 2004, up from the 537.3 million carried between January and November 2003 (Table 2). The passengers were carried on 9.1 million flights, up 3.9 percent from the 8.8 million flights operated in 2003 (Table 1).

In other domestic comparisons from the first 11 months of 2003 to the first 11 months of 2004:

Revenue passenger miles, a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 10.4 percent.

Available seat-miles, a measure of airline capacity, were up 7.6 percent.

Load factor, a measure of how many seats are sold and used, was up 1.9 percentage points.

Flight stage length, the average non-stop distance, was up 4.0 percent.

Passenger trip length, the average distance passengers travel, was up 2.6 percent.

Among airlines, Southwest Airlines carried 74.5 million domestic passengers during the first 11 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 11 months of 2004, with 34.5 million passenger boardings (Table 4).

In November 2004, U.S. airlines carried 51.5 million domestic passengers, 8.5 percent more than in November 2003 (Table 5) .

These passengers were carried on 789,376 flights, up 1.7 percent from the flights operated in November 2003. The number of October domestic flights has been revised because of late reports from several carriers. There were 822,129 domestic flights in October 2004, revised from 807,788 flghts reported in the January release.

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

Revenue passenger miles, a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 10.1 percent.

Available seat-miles, a measure of airline capacity, were up 5.9 percent.

Load factor, a measure of how many seats are sold and used, was up 2.8 percentage points.

Flight stage length, the average non-stop distance, was up 3.9 percent.

Passenger trip length, the average distance passengers travel, was up 1.4 percent.

The number of domestic airline passengers fell 3.7 percent in November from October (Table 2). Month-to-month comparisons may be affected by seasonal factors.

Among airlines, Southwest Airlines carried 6.6 million domestic passengers during November , the most of any airline (Table 6).

Among airports, Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta was the busiest U.S. airport for domestic travel during November, with 3.1 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. October traffic data are preliminary and include data received by BTS from 115 airlines as of Feb. 8. Data are subject to revision.

Revised data from October 2004 and previous months are posted on the BTS website at http://transtats.bts.gov . BTS will release December traffic data on March 10.

Table 1: Domestic Airline Travel January to November

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  Jan-Nov 2003 Jan-Nov 2004 Change
Passengers 537,318,723 578,497,793 7.7%
Flights 8,764,446 9,106,756 3.9%
Revenue Passenger Miles (000) 454,470,398 501,933,667 10.4%
Available Seat-Miles (000) 624,475,231 672,123,823 7.6%
Load Factor 72.8 74.7 1.9 points
Flight Stage Length (miles) 576 599 4.0%
Passenger Trip Length (miles) 846 868 2.6%

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market and Segment

Table 2: Total Industry Domestic Enplanements

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Month 2003 2004 Change
January 43,301,100 44,115,683 1.9%
February 41,464,612 45,614,657 10.0%
March 50,387,301 54,512,292 8.2%
April 47,363,867 53,610,915 13.2%
May 49,412,315 53,294,016 7.9%
June 52,539,413 57,242,839 9.0%
July 56,148,081 59,907,777 6.7%
August 54,319,794 57,347,302 5.6%
September 44,576,369 47,898,457 7.5%
October 50,350,562 53,458,333 6.2%
November 47,455,309 51,495,522 8.5%
December 50,126,721    
Jan-Nov Total 537,318,723 578,497,793 7.7%

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market

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

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Jan-Nov 2004 Rank Airline Name Jan-Nov 2003 Passengers Jan-Nov 2004 Passengers Jan-Nov 2003 Rank
1 Southwest Airlines 68,649,111 74,493,117 2
2 Delta Air Lines 71,288,644 72,776,817 1
3 American Airlines 66,305,269 66,525,534 3
4 United Airlines 51,565,354 55,297,315 4
5 Northwest Airlines 39,587,211 42,115,416 5
6 US Airways 34,174,086 34,729,063 6
7 Continental Airlines 28,180,744 28,836,486 7
8 America West Airlines 17,617,230 18,475,118 8
9 American Eagle Airlines 10,624,529 13,109,257 10
10 Alaska Airlines 11,948,110 13,086,154 9

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market

Table 4: Top 10 Airports ranked by January-November 2004 Domestic Enplanements

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Jan-Nov 2004 Rank Airport Name Jan-Nov 2003 Passengers Jan-Nov 2004 Passengers Jan-Nov 2003 Rank
1 Hartsfield-Jackson Int'l 32,715,111 34,481,737 1
2 O'Hare Int'l 26,082,725 28,504,511 2
3 Dallas-Ft.Worth Int'l 20,875,436 23,575,604 3
4 Los Angeles Int'l 17,858,261 19,528,002 4
5 Denver Int'l 15,790,538 18,028,051 6
6 Las Vegas McCarran Int'l 15,501,431 17,790,624 7
7 Phoenix Sky Harbor Int'l 16,098,543 17,003,063 5
8 Minneapolis-St.Paul Int'l 13,678,699 14,852,039 8
9 Detroit Metro-Wayne County 12,938,701 13,920,799 9
10 Orlando Int'l 11,429,142 13,014,603 11

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market

Table 5: Domestic Airline Travel in November

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  Nov. 2003 Nov. 2004 Change
Passengers 47,455,309 51,495,522 8.5%
Flights 775,874 789,376 1.7%
Revenue Passenger Miles (000) 39,784,320 43,794,244 10.1%
Available Seat-Miles (000) 56,427,700 59,730,424 5.9%
Load Factor 70.50% 73.30% 2.8 points
Flight Stage Length (miles) 592 615 3.9%
Passenger Trip Length (miles) 838 850 1.4%

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market and Segment

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

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Nov 2004 Rank Airline Name Nov. 2003 Nov. 2004 Nov. 2003 Rank
1 Southwest Airlines 6,013,106 6,638,969 2
2 Delta Air Lines 6,240,097 6,544,785 1
3 American Airlines 5,449,401 5,820,897 3
4 United Airlines 4,391,521 4,604,759 4
5 Northwest Airlines 3,393,827 3,771,651 5
6 US Airways 3,088,498 3,173,840 6
7 Continental Airlines 2,493,280 2,633,736 7
8 America West Airlines 1,499,507 1,655,280 8
9 American Eagle Airlines 1,014,337 1,216,186 10
10 Alaska Airlines 1,042,001 1,146,903 9

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market

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

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Nov 2004 Rank Airport Name Nov. 2003 Nov. 2004 Nov. 2003 Rank
1 Hartsfield-Jackson Int'l 2,939,836 3,108,168 1
2 O'Hare Int'l 2,318,991 2,441,963 2
3 Dallas-Ft.Worth Int'l 1,944,428 2,094,972 3
4 Los Angeles Int'l 1,558,254 1,702,895 4
5 Las Vegas McCarran Int'l 1,393,491 1,599,275 6
6 Phoenix Sky Harbor Int'l 1,407,512 1,533,351 5
7 Denver Int'l 1,338,898 1,481,277 7
8 Minneapolis-St.Paul Int'l 1,148,856 1,261,650 9
9 Detroit Metro-Wayne County 1,149,966 1,258,040 8
10 Orlando Int'l 1,070,567 1,214,078 11

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market