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July 2005 Airline Traffic: Seven-Month Domestic Traffic Up 5.6 Percent From 2004

July 2005 Airline Traffic: Seven-Month Domestic Traffic Up 5.6 Percent From 2004

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BTS 45-05
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Friday, October 14, 2005 - U.S. airlines carried 5.6 percent more domestic passengers and flew 2.0 percent more domestic flights during the first seven 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 (RITA), reported that the airlines carried 389.7 million domestic passengers during the first seven months of 2005, up from the 369.0 million carried between January and July 2004 (Table 2). The passengers were carried on 5.92 million flights, up 2.0 percent from the 5.81 million flights operated in 2004 (Table 1).

In other domestic comparisons from the first seven months of 2004 to the first seven 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 2.0 percent.

Passenger load factor, passengers carried as a proportion of available seats, was up 2.7 load factor points.

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

Passenger trip length, the average distance flown per passenger, was at 868 miles per trip, no change from the first seven months of 2004.

Among airlines, Southwest Airlines carried 51.1 million domestic passengers during the first seven months of 2005, the most of any airline (Table 3).

Among airports, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was the busiest U.S. airport for domestic travel during the first seven months of 2005, with 22.9 million passenger boardings (Table 4).

July 2005 Airline Traffic

For the month of July 2005, U.S. airlines carried 62.2 million domestic passengers, 3.6 percent more than in July 2004 (Table 5).

These passengers were carried on 876,270 flights, down 1.0 percent from the flights operated in July 2004.

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

Revenue passenger miles, a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 4.2 percent.

Available seat-miles, a measure of airline capacity, were up 2.0 percent.

Passenger load factor, passengers carried as a proportion of available seats, was up 1.8 load factor points.

Flight stage length, the average non-stop distance flown per departure, was up 2.9 percent.

Passenger trip length, the average distance flown per passenger, was up 0.6 percent.

Among airlines, Southwest Airlines carried 8.5 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 3.6 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 127 airlines as of Oct. 12. Data are subject to revision.

Revised data from June 2005 and previous months are posted on the BTS website at http://transtats.bts.gov. BTS will release August traffic data and revised data from July and previous months on Nov. 10.

Table 1: Domestic Airline Travel January to July

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  Jan-July 2004 Jan-July 2005 Change
Passengers 369,030,264 389,730,396 5.6%
Flights 5,805,432 5,922,722 2.0%
Revenue Passenger Miles(000) 320,150,614 338,146,457 5.6%
Available Seat Miles(000) 427,495,287 435,967,058 2.0%
Load Factor 74.9% 77.6% 2.7 points
Flight Stage Length* 597 603 1.1%
Passenger Trip Length** 868 868 0.0%

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

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

** The average distance flown per passenger in miles

Table 2: Total Industry Domestic Enplanements

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Month 2003 2004 2005 2004-2005 Pct. Change
January 43,349,913 44,200,845 48,203,554 9.1
February 41,465,820 45,704,392 47,326,497 3.5
March 50,387,895 54,620,647 59,144,119 8.3
April 47,364,607 53,705,969 55,216,004 2.8
May 49,413,135 53,385,405 57,626,589 7.9
June 52,541,294 57,345,362 60,000,943 4.6
July 56,144,204 60,067,644 62,212,690 3.6
August 54,320,946 57,793,104    
September 44,575,720 47,964,269    
October 50,347,370 54,543,089    
November 47,456,128 52,021,239    
December 50,132,111 52,895,033    
Annual Total 587,499,143 634,246,998    
Jan.-July Total 340,666,868 369,030,264 389,730,396 5.6

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

Table 3: Top 10 Airlines, ranked by January-July 2005 Domestic Enplanements

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Jan-July 2005 Rank Carrier Jan-July 2005 Passengers Jan-July 2004 Rank Jan-July 2004 Passengers
1 Southwest Airlines 51,072,695 1 47,466,094
2 Delta Air Lines 47,918,110 2 46,883,939
3 American Airlines 45,648,675 3 42,928,542
4 United Airlines 32,167,097 4 34,963,226
5 Northwest Airlines 28,333,805 5 26,719,372
6 US Airways 23,264,719 6 22,183,855
7 Continental Airlines 19,196,822 7 18,493,610
8 America West Airlines 12,233,527 8 11,620,727
9 American Eagle Airlines 9,601,228 10 8,072,099
10 AirTran Airways 9,400,668 11 7,581,785

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

Table 4: Top 10 Airports ranked by January-July 2005 Domestic Enplanements

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Jan-June 2005 Rank Airport Name Jan-June 2005 Passengers Jan-June 2004 Rank Jan-June 2004 Passengers
1 Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta 22,948,239 1 22,204,489
2 Chicago O'Hare 18,091,916 2 17,883,768
3 Dallas-Fort Worth 14,889,910 3 15,110,134
4 Los Angeles Int'l 12,393,315 4 12,384,837
5 Las Vegas McCarran 11,965,942 6 11,200,895
6 Denver 11,663,204 5 11,515,386
7 Phoenix Sky Harbor 11,486,964 7 10,920,267
8 Minneapolis-St.Paul 9,906,636 8 9,432,555
9 Orlando 9,498,418 10 8,733,950
10 Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County 9,300,886 9 8,792,707

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

Table 5: Domestic Airline Travel in July

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  July 2004 July 2005 Change
Passengers 60,067,644 62,212,690 3.6%
Flights 885,286 876,270 -1.0%
Revenue Passenger Miles(000) 53,207,198 55,445,430 4.2%
Available Seat Miles(000) 64,739,235 66,032,519 2.0%
Load Factor 82.2% 84.0% 1.8 points
Flight Stage Length* 595 612 2.9%
Passenger Trip Length** 886 891 0.6%

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

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

** The average distance flown per passenger in miles

Table 6: Top 10 Airlines, ranked by July 2005 Domestic Enplanements

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July 2005 Rank Carrier July 2005 Passengers July 2004 Rank July 2004 Passengers
1 Southwest Airlines 8,487,413 1 7,623,703
2 Delta Air Lines 7,395,121 2 7,469,377
3 American Airlines 7,367,486 3 6,718,150
4 United Airlines 5,113,840 4 5,833,257
5 Northwest Airlines 4,610,081 5 4,472,013
6 US Airways 3,474,330 6 3,474,841
7 Continental Airlines 3,030,896 7 2,978,741
8 America West Airlines 1,949,061 8 1,868,638
9 AirTran Airways 1,612,346 11 1,237,363
10 American Eagle Airlines 1,507,029 10 1,316,870

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

Table 7: Top 10 Airports ranked by July 2005 Domestic Enplanements

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July 2005 Rank Airport Name July 2005 Passengers July 2004 Rank July 2004 Passengers
1 Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (ATL) 3,599,188 1 3,515,755
2 Chicago O'Hare (ORD) 2,883,540 2 2,948,323
3 Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) 2,417,356 3 2,405,511
4 Los Angeles Int'l (LAX) 2,056,507 4 2,074,545
5 Las Vegas McCarran (DEN) 1,981,273 5 1,974,894
6 Denver (LAS) 1,850,107 6 1,700,856
7 Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX) 1,753,236 7 1,682,914
8 Minneapolis-St.Paul (MSP) 1,691,295 8 1,618,687
9 Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County (DTW) 1,483,791 9 1,456,093
10 Houston Bush Intercontinental (IAH) 1,468,168 10 1,365,950

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