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April Airline Traffic Data: Four-Month Domestic Traffic Up 5.5 Percent From 2004

April Airline Traffic Data: Four-Month Domestic Traffic Up 5.5 Percent From 2004

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BTS 31-05
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Thursday, July 14, 2005 — U.S. airlines carried 5.5 percent more domestic passengers and flew 0.7 percent more domestic flights during the first four months of 2005 than they did during the same period in 2004, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) today reported, in a release of preliminary data (Table 1).

BTS, a part of DOT's Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the airlines carried 209.0 million domestic passengers during the first four months of 2005, up from the 198.0 million carried between January and April 2004 (Table 2). The passengers were carried on 3.25 million flights, up 0.7 percent from the 3.23 million flights operated in 2004 (Table 1).

In other domestic comparisons from the first four months of 2004 to the first four months of 2005:

Revenue passenger miles, a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 5.6 percent.

Available seat-miles, a measure of airline capacity, were up 1.2 percent.

Passenger load factor, passengers carried as a proportion of available seats, was up 3.1 percentage points.

Flight stage length, the average non-stop distance flown per departure, was up 1.7 percent.

Passenger trip length, the average distance flown per passenger, was up 0.1 percent at 864 miles per trip.

Among airlines, Southwest Airlines carried 26.9 million domestic passengers during the first four months of 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 the first four months of 2005, with 12.7 million passenger boardings (Table 4).

April 2005 Airline Traffic

For the month of April 2005, U.S. airlines carried 54.7 million domestic passengers, 1.9 percent more than in April 2004 (Table 5) .

These passengers were carried on 815,292 flights, down 1.3 percent from the flights operated in April 2004.

In other month-to-month domestic comparisons from April 2004 to April 2005:

Revenue passenger miles, a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 2.0 percent.

Available seat-miles, a measure of airline capacity, were up 1.4 percent.

Passenger load factor, passengers carried as a proportion of available seats, was up 0.4 percentage points.

Flight stage length, the average non-stop distance flown per departure, was up 3.6 percent.

Passenger trip length, the average distance flown per passenger, was up 0.1 percent.

Among airlines, Southwest Airlines carried 7.1 million domestic passengers during April , the most of any airline (Table 6).

Among airports, Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta was the busiest U.S. airport for domestic travel during April , with 3.4 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. March traffic data are preliminary and include data received by BTS from 128 airlines as of July 12. Data are subject to revision.

Revised data from March 2005 and previous months are posted on the BTS website at http://transtats.bts.gov . BTS will release May traffic data and revised data from April and previous months on August 11.

Table 1. Domestic Airline Travel January to April

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  Jan-Apr 2004 Jan-Apr 2005 Change
Passengers 198,036,593 209,016,672 5.5%
Flights 3,230,469 3,252,042 0.7%
Revenue Passenger Miles(000) 170,993,582 180,575,562 5.6%
Available Seat Miles(000) 239,076,110 242,029,945 1.2%
Load Factor 71.5 74.6 3.1 points
Flight Stage Length* 599 609 1.7%
Passenger Trip Length** 863 864 0.1%

* The average non-stop distance flown per departure in miles

** The average distance flown per passenger in miles

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

Table 2. Total Industry Domestic Enplanements

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Month 2003 2004 2005 2004-2005 Pct. Change
January 43,342,462 44,158,365 48,143,817 9.0
February 41,465,820 45,660,443 47,220,958 3.4
March 50,387,895 54,564,077 58,973,278 8.1
April 47,364,607 53,653,708 54,678,619 1.9
May 49,413,135 53,338,386    
June 52,541,294 57,289,410    
July 56,144,204 59,997,802    
August 54,320,946 57,724,502    
September 44,575,720 47,901,458    
October 50,347,370 54,473,796    
November 47,456,128 51,943,699    
December 50,132,111 52,768,872    
Jan.-Apr. Total 182,560,784 198,036,593 209,016,672 5.5
Annual Total 587,491,692 633,474,518    

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

Table 3. Top 10 Airlines, ranked by January-April 2005 Domestic Enplanements

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Jan-Apr 2005 Rank Carrier Jan-Apr 2005 Passengers Jan-Apr 2004 Rank Jan-Apr 2004 Passengers
1 Southwest Airlines 26,925,809 2 25,322,202
2 Delta Air Lines 26,544,159 1 25,420,494
3 American Airlines 24,517,553 3 23,607,912
4 United Airlines 17,289,011 4 18,405,062
5 Northwest Airlines 15,175,781 5 14,153,675
6 US Airways 12,935,698 6 12,195,360
7 Continental Airlines 10,478,965 7 10,090,810
8 America West Airlines 6,588,108 8 6,294,892
9 American Eagle Airlines 5,074,068 9 4,279,533
10 SkyWest Airlines 4,870,782 12 3,795,319

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

Table 4. Top 10 Airports ranked by January-April 2004 Domestic Enplanements

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Jan-Apr 2005 Rank Airport Name Jan-Apr 2005 Passengers Jan-Apr 2004 Rank Jan-Apr 2004 Passengers
1 Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Int'l 12,683,966 1 12,043,512
2 Chicago O'Hare Int'l 9,592,389 2 9,425,461
3 Dallas-Fort Worth Int'l 7,955,184 3 8,157,450
4 Los Angeles Int'l 6,602,296 4 6,581,454
5 Las Vegas Mc Carran Int'l 6,507,360 5 6,164,382
6 Phoenix Sky Harbor Int'l 6,320,138 7 6,049,240
7 Denver Int'l 6,112,984 6 6,068,964
8 Orlando Int'l 5,424,082 9 4,940,233
9 Minneapolis-St.Paul Int'l 5,250,158 8 4,996,843
10 Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County 4,977,546 10 4,669,335

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

Table 5. Domestic Airline Travel in April

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  April 2004 April 2005 Change
Passengers 53,653,708 54,678,619 1.9%
Flights 826,231 815,292 -1.3%
Revenue Passenger Miles(000) 46,323,631 47,273,001 2.0%
Available Seat Miles(000) 60,748,463 61,604,555 1.4%
Load Factor 76.3 76.7 0.4 points
Flight Stage Length* 597 618 3.6%
Passenger Trip Length** 863 865 0.1%

* The average non-stop distance flown per departure in miles

** The average distance flown per passenger in miles

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

Table 6. Top 10 Airlines, ranked by April 2005 Domestic Enplanements

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April 2005 Rank Carrier April 2005 Passengers April 2004 Rank April 2004 Passengers
1 Southwest Airlines 7,130,726 1 7,120,432
2 Delta Air Lines 6,860,192 2 6,711,378
3 American Airlines 6,419,180 3 6,211,663
4 United Airlines 4,386,440 4 5,022,073
5 Northwest Airlines 4,068,580 5 3,834,684
6 US Airways 3,427,380 6 3,413,018
7 Continental Airlines 2,750,674 7 2,751,538
8 America West Airlines 1,741,805 8 1,648,376
9 American Eagle Airlines 1,384,995 9 1,170,293
10 AirTran Airways 1,316,209 10 1,143,034

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

Table 7. Top 10 Airports ranked by April 2005 Domestic Enplanements

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April 2005 Rank Airport Name April 2005 Passengers April 2004 Rank April 2004 Passengers
1 Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Int'l 3,367,052 1 3,210,277
2 Chicago O'Hare Int'l 2,539,345 2 2,557,445
3 Dallas-Fort Worth Int'l 2,059,854 3 2,119,749
4 Las Vegas McCarran Int'l 1,725,739 5 1,648,323
5 Los Angeles Int'l 1,705,332 4 1,814,798
6 Phoenix Sky Harbor Int'l 1,673,782 6 1,593,657
7 Denver Int'l 1,517,281 7 1,548,628
8 Orlando Int'l 1,392,308 9 1,303,207
9 Minneapolis-St.Paul Int'l 1,330,797 10 1,265,398
10 Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County 1,327,028 8 1,317,196

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