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August 2005 Airline Traffic: Eight-Month Domestic Traffic Up 5.2 Percent From 2004

August 2005 Airline Traffic: Eight-Month Domestic Traffic Up 5.2 Percent From 2004

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BTS 52-05
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Thursday, November 10, 2005 — U.S. airlines carried 5.2 percent more domestic passengers and flew 1.6 percent more domestic flights during the first eight 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 449.3 million domestic passengers during the first eight months of 2005, up from the 427.0 million carried between January and August 2004 (Table 2). The passengers were carried on 6.83 million flights, up 1.6 percent from the 6.72 million flights operated in 2004 (Table 1).

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

Revenue passenger miles, a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 5.2 percent.

Available seat-miles, a measure of airline capacity, were up 1.8 percent.

Passenger load factor, passengers carried as a proportion of available seats, was up 2.5 load factor points.

Flight stage length, the average non-stop distance flown per departure, was up 1.3 percent.

Passenger trip length, the average distance flown per passenger, was 870 miles per trip, no change from the first eight months of 2004.

Among airlines, Southwest Airlines carried 59.2 million domestic passengers during the first eight 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 eight months of 2005, with 26.7 million passenger boardings (Table 4).

August 2005 Airline Traffic

For the month of August 2005, U.S. airlines carried 59.0 million domestic passengers, 2.1 percent more than in August 2004 (Table 5) .

These passengers were carried on 894,460 flights, down 0.5 percent from the 898,613 flights operated in August 2004.

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

Revenue passenger miles, a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 2.4 percent.

Available seat-miles, a measure of airline capacity, were up 0.4 percent.

Passenger load factor, passengers carried as a proportion of available seats, was up 1.6 load factor points.

Flight stage length, the average non-stop distance flown per departure, was up 1.9 percent.

Passenger trip length, the average distance flown per passenger, was up 0.2 percent.

Among airlines, Southwest Airlines carried 8.1 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 August , 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. July traffic data are preliminary and include data received by BTS from 130 airlines as of Nov. 8. Data are subject to revision.

Revised data from July 2005 and previous months are posted on the BTS website at http://transtats.bts.gov . BTS will release September traffic data and revised data from August and previous months on Dec. 15.

Table 1: Domestic Airline Travel January to August

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  Jan-Aug. 2004 Jan-Aug. 2005 Change
Passengers 427,002,834 449,261,393 5.2%
Flights 6,721,720 6,832,172 1.6%
Revenue Passenger Miles(000) 371,409,413 390,803,131 5.2%
Available Seat Miles(000) 492,600,517 501,513,446 1.8%
Load Factor 75.4 77.9 2.5 points
Flight Stage Length* 595 602 1.2%
Passenger Trip Length** 870 870 None

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 43,365,042 44,223,065 48,203,554 9.0
February 41,480,320 45,726,295 47,326,497 3.5
March 50,404,158 54,649,236 59,144,119 8.2
April 47,380,661 53,740,731 55,242,437 2.8
May 49,430,970 53,421,459 57,581,707 7.8
June 52,562,332 57,381,300 60,000,943 4.6
July 56,167,980 60,067,644 62,726,733 4.4
August 54,347,183 57,793,104 59,035,403 2.1
September 44,605,229 47,996,736    
October 50,372,738 54,582,605    
November 47,478,546 52,053,293    
December 50,146,795 52,921,799    
Annual Total 587,741,954 634,557,267    
Jan.-Aug. Total 395,138,646 427,002,834 449,261,393 5.2

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

Table 3: Top 10 Airlines, Ranked by January-August 2005 Domestic Enplanements

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Jan-Aug 2005 Rank Carrier Jan-Aug 2005 Passengers Jan-Aug 2004 Rank Jan-Aug 2004 Passengers
1 Southwest 59,200,650 1 54,826,178
2 Delta 54,901,234 2 53,883,756
3 American 52,419,517 3 49,336,398
4 United 37,133,759 4 40,784,475
5 Northwest 32,495,909 5 30,997,587
6 US Airways 26,399,310 6 25,470,731
7 Continental 22,096,508 7 21,280,188
8 America West 14,137,885 8 13,443,957
9 American Eagle 11,065,308 10 9,336,644
10 AirTran 10,905,548 11 8,767,817

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

Table 4: Top 10 Airports Ranked by January-August 2005 Domestic Enplanements

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Jan-Aug 2005 Rank Airport Name Jan-Aug 2005 Passengers Jan-Aug 2004 Rank Jan-Aug 2004 Passengers
1 Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta 26,694,198 1 25,486,721
2 Chicago O'Hare 20,918,668 2 20,775,582
3 Dallas-Ft. Worth 17,080,335 3 17,316,303
4 Los Angeles Int'l 14,425,559 4 14,464,203
5 Las Vegas McCarran 13,776,670 6 12,902,510
6 Denver 13,556,873 5 13,391,538
7 Phoenix Sky Harbor 13,126,297 7 12,483,436
8 Minneapolis-St.Paul 11,478,800 8 10,992,663
9 Orlando 10,698,495 10 9,924,183
10 Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County 10,627,783 9 10,183,360

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

Table 5: Domestic Airline Travel in August

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  Aug 2004 Aug 2005 Change
Passengers 57,793,104 59,035,403 2.1%
Flights 898,613 894,460 −0.5%
Revenue Passenger Miles(000) 51,237,919 52,460,501 2.4%
Available Seat Miles(000) 65,076,157 65,336,267 0.4%
Load Factor 78.7 80.3 1.6 points
Flight Stage Length* 591 602 1.9%
Passenger Trip Length** 887 889 0.2%

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 August 2005 Domestic Enplanements

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Aug 2005 Rank Carrier Aug 2005 Passengers Aug 2004 Rank Aug 2004 Passengers
1 Southwest 8,127,955 1 7,360,084
2 Delta 6,983,124 2 6,999,817
3 American 6,770,842 3 6,407,856
4 United 4,966,662 4 5,821,249
5 Northwest 4,162,104 5 4,278,215
6 US Airways 3,134,591 6 3,286,876
7 Continental 2,899,686 7 2,786,578
8 America West 1,904,358 8 1,823,230
9 AirTran 1,504,880 12 1,186,032
10 Alaska 1,469,421 9 1,478,362

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

Table 7: Top 10 Airports Ranked by August 2005 Domestic Enplanements

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Aug 2005 Rank Airport Name Aug 2005 Passengers Aug 2004 Rank Aug 2004 Passengers
1 Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta 3,378,841 1 3,282,232
2 Chicago O'Hare 2,796,345 2 2,891,814
3 Dallas-Ft. Worth 2,190,380 3 2,206,169
4 Los Angeles Int'l 2,027,961 4 2,079,366
5 Denver 1,886,324 5 1,876,152
6 Las Vegas McCarran 1,805,846 6 1,701,615
7 Phoenix Sky Harbor 1,637,056 7 1,563,150
8 Minneapolis-St.Paul 1,571,309 8 1,560,108
9 Seattle-Tacoma 1,402,611 9 1,409,082
10 Houston Bush Intercontinental 1,363,238 11 1,226,424

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