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February Domestic Airline Traffic Up 3.4 Percent From February 2004

February Domestic Airline Traffic Up 3.4 Percent From February 2004

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BTS 21-05
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Monday, May 16, 2005 - U.S. airlines carried 3.4 percent more domestic passengers but flew 0.8 percent fewer domestic flights during February 2005 than they did during February 2004, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today, in a release of preliminary data (Table 1).

BTS, a part of DOT's Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the airlines carried 47.2 million domestic passengers during February 2005, up from the 45.7 million in February 2004 (Table 2). These passengers were carried on 761,835 flights, down 0.8 percent from the 768,316 flights operated in February 2004 (Table 1).

Since February 2004 consisted of 29 days and February 2005 had 28 days, all comparisons result in smaller increases than if they were based on average daily travel.

In other domestic comparisons from February 2004 to February 2005 (Table 1):

Revenue passenger miles, a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 3.2 percent.

Available seat-miles, a measure of airline capacity, were down 0.9 percent.

Load factor, the percentage of airline seating capacity used by revenue passengers, was up by 2.9 percentage points.

Flight stage length, the average non-stop distance, was up 1.1 percent.

Passenger trip length, the average distance passengers travel, was down 0.2 percent.

Among airlines, Southwest Airlines carried 6.1 million domestic passengers during February 2005, the most of any airline (Table 3).

Among airports, Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta was the busiest U.S. airport for domestic travel during February 2005, with 2.9 million passenger boardings (Table 4).

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 "Air Carrier Statistics (Form 41 Traffic)," then "T-100 Domestic Market."

Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial air carriers detailing operations, passenger traffic and freight traffic. February traffic data are preliminary and include data received by BTS from 102 airlines as of May 10. Data are subject to revision.

Revised data from January 2005 and previous months are posted on the BTS website at http://transtats.bts.gov. BTS will release March 2005 traffic data on June 16.

Table 1: Domestic Airline Travel in February*

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  Feb. 2004 Feb. 2005 Change
Passengers 45,660,443 47,220,297 3.4%
Flights 768,316 761,835 -0.8%
Revenue Passenger Miles(000) 39,046,303 40,308,337 3.2%
Available Seat Miles(000) 56,822,674 56,316,513 -0.9%
Load Factor 68.7 71.6 2.9 points
Flight Stage Length 599 606 1.1%
Passenger Trip Length 855 854 -0.2%

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

* February consisted of 29 days in 2004 and 28 days in 2005.

Table 2: Total Industry Domestic Enplanements

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Month 2003 2004 2005 2004-2005 Pct. Change
January 43,340,260 44,158,365 48,143,817 9.0%
February 41,464,697 45,660,443 47,220,297 3.4%
March 50,387,437 54,564,077    
April 47,364,281 53,653,708    
May 49,413,135 53,338,386    
June 52,541,086 57,289,410    
July 56,144,204 59,997,802    
August 54,320,569 57,724,502    
September 44,575,000 47,899,897    
October 50,346,823 54,473,796    
November 47,455,664 51,904,086    
December 50,126,985 52,768,872    
Jan.-Feb. Total 84,804,957 89,818,808 95,364,114 6.2%
Annual Total 587,480,141 633,435,348    

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

Table 3: Top 10 Airlines, ranked by February 2005 Domestic Enplanements

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Feb. 2005 Rank Carrier Feb. 2005 Enplanements Feb. 2004 Rank Feb. 2004 Enplanements
1 Southwest Airlines 6,081,794 2 5,749,214
2 Delta Air Lines 6,041,572 1 5,947,669
3 American Airlines 5,475,154 3 5,495,032
4 United Airlines 3,907,296 4 4,197,443
5 Northwest Airlines 3,388,500 5 3,207,660
6 US Airways 2,927,688 6 2,796,944
7 Continental Airlines 2,318,987 7 2,301,375
8 America West Airlines 1,466,210 8 1,468,971
9 American Eagle Airlines 1,158,342 9 1,006,408
10 SkyWest Airlines 1,114,296 12 918,200

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

Table 4: Top 10 Airports ranked by February 2005 Domestic Enplanements

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Feb. 2005 Rank Airport Name Feb. 2005 Enplanements Feb. 2004 Rank Feb. 2004 Enplanements
1 Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Int'l 2,875,006 1 2,781,922
2 Chicago O'Hare Int'l 2,139,698 2 2,199,452
3 Dallas-Fort Worth Int'l 1,766,234 3 1,885,096
4 Los Angeles Int'l 1,467,862 4 1,475,784
5 Las Vegas McCarran Int'l 1,450,159 5 1,434,267
6 Phoenix Sky Harbor Int'l 1,414,953 6 1,400,837
7 Denver Int'l 1,403,118 7 1,390,280
8 Orlando Int'l 1,244,552 8 1,166,062
9 Minneapolis-St.Paul Int'l 1,191,508 9 1,155,298
10 Detroit Metro-Wayne County 1,127,356 10 1,072,676

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