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November 2005 Airline Traffic Data: 11-Month Domestic Traffic Up 4.3 Percent From 2004

November 2005 Airline Traffic Data: 11-Month Domestic Traffic Up 4.3 Percent From 2004

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BTS 8-06
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Thursday, February 16, 2006 - U.S. airlines carried 4.3 percent more domestic passengers and flew slightly fewer domestic flights during the first 11 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 606.4 million domestic passengers during the first 11 months of 2005, up from the 581.6 million carried between January and November 2004 (Table 2). The passengers were carried on 9,246,862 million flights, 1,140 fewer than the 9,248,002 million flights operated in 2004 (Table 1).

In other domestic comparisons from the first 11 months of 2004 to the first 11 months of 2005:

Revenue passenger miles, a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 4.7 percent.

Available seat-miles, a measure of airline capacity using the number of seats and the distance flown, were up 1.1 percent.

Passenger load factor, passengers carried as a proportion of available seats, was up 2.6 load factor points.

Flight stage length, the average non-stop distance flown per departure, was up 2.0 percent.

Passenger trip length, the average distance flown per passenger, was 867 miles per trip, up only slightly from 864 miles the first 11 months of 2004.

Among airlines, Southwest Airlines carried 81.2 million domestic passengers during the first 11 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 11 months of 2005, with 35.6 million passenger boardings (Table 4).

November 2005 Airline Traffic

For the month of November 2005, U.S. airlines carried 52.1 million domestic passengers, 0.2 percent more than in November 2004 (Table 5).

These passengers were carried on 775,059 flights, down 6.2 percent from the 826,353 flights operated in November 2004.

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

Revenue passenger miles, a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 2.3 percent.

Available seat-miles, a measure of airline capacity, were down 2.2 percent.

Passenger load factor, passengers carried as a proportion of available seats, was up 3.3 load factor points.

Flight stage length, the average non-stop distance flown per departure, was up 4.5 percent.

Passenger trip length, the average distance flown per passenger, was up 2.1
 percent.

Among airlines, Southwest Airlines carried 7.4 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 in November with 3.0 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.  November traffic data are preliminary and include data received by BTS from 130 airlines as of Feb. 14.  Data are subject to revision.

Revised data from October 2005 and previous months are posted on the BTS website at http://transtats.bts.gov.  BTS will release December traffic data, full year totals for 2005, and revised data from November and previous months on March 16.

Table 1. Domestic Airline Travel January to November

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  Jan.-Nov. 2004 Jan.-Nov. 2005 Change
Passengers 581,622,397 606,439,681 4.3%
Flights 9,248,002 9,246,862 0.0%
Revenue Passenger Miles(000) 502,457,105 525,950,911 4.7%
Available Seat Miles(000) 672,959,415 680,384,343 1.1%
Load Factor 74.7 77.3 2.6 points
Flight Stage Length* 593 605 2.0%
Passenger Trip Length** 864 867 0.4%

* 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 43,365,042 44,223,065 48,204,617 9.0%
February 41,465,866 45,712,118 47,327,802 3.5%
March 50,404,158 54,649,236 59,145,652 8.2%
April 47,380,661 53,740,731 55,244,677 2.8%
May 49,413,200 53,421,459 57,583,259 7.8%
June 52,562,332 57,381,300 60,002,560 4.6%
July 56,167,980 60,067,644 62,741,667 4.5%
August 54,347,183 57,793,104 59,389,234 2.8%
September 44,605,229 47,996,736 50,732,043 5.7%
October 50,372,738 54,582,605 53,932,826 -1.2%
November 47,478,546 52,054,399 52,135,344 0.2%
December 50,146,795 52,923,041    
Annual Total 587,709,730 634,545,438    
Jan.-Nov. Total 537,562,935 581,622,397 606,439,681 4.3%

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

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

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Jan-Nov 2005 Rank Carrier Jan-Nov 2005 Passengers Jan-Nov 2004 Rank Jan-Nov 2004 Passengers
1 Southwest 81,175,029 1 74,493,117
2 Delta 72,065,251 2 72,776,817
3 American 70,878,449 3 66,525,534
4 United 50,553,783 4 55,297,315
5 Northwest 43,137,175 5 42,115,416
6 US Airways 34,573,308 6 34,729,063
7 Continental 30,037,891 7 28,836,388
8 America West 19,184,337 8 18,475,118
9 American Eagle 15,397,960 9 13,109,257
10 AirTran 15,024,967 12 11,863,363

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

Table 4. Top 10 Airports ranked by January-November 2005 Domestic Enplanements

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Jan-Nov 2005 Rank Airport Name Jan-Nov 2005 Passengers Jan-Nov 2004 Rank Jan-Nov 2004 Passengers
1 Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta 35,616,668 1 34,483,423
2 Chicago O'Hare 28,728,270 2 28,560,749
3 Dallas-Ft. Worth 23,363,559 3 23,600,020
4 Los Angeles Int'l 19,471,209 4 19,527,920
5 Las Vegas McCarran 18,886,742 6 17,790,624
6 Denver 18,303,599 5 18,029,057
7 Phoenix Sky Harbor 17,835,957 7 17,020,701
8 Minneapolis-St.Paul 15,361,037 8 14,858,847
9 Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County 14,398,425 9 13,966,137
10 Houston Bush Intercontinental 14,284,283 11 12,955,977

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

Table 5. Domestic Airline Travel in November

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  Nov 2004 Nov 2005 Change
Passengers 52,054,399 52,135,344 0.2%
Flights 826,353 775,059 -6.2%
Revenue Passenger Miles(000) 43,872,537 44,878,755 2.3%
Available Seat Miles(000) 59,875,800 58,581,766 -2.2%
Load Factor 73.3 76.6 3.3 points
Flight Stage Length* 594 620 4.4%
Passenger Trip Length** 843 861 2.1%

* 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 November 2005 Domestic Enplanements

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Nov 2005 Rank Carrier Nov 2005 Passengers Nov 2004 Rank Nov 2004 Passengers
1 Southwest 7,411,621 1 6,638,969
2 American 6,338,404 3 5,820,897
3 Delta 5,742,877 2 6,544,785
4 United 4,467,668 4 4,604,759
5 Northwest 3,455,971 5 3,771,651
6 Continental 2,805,470 7 2,633,638
7 US Airways 2,705,801 6 3,173,840
8 America West 1,691,787 8 1,655,280
9 AirTran 1,438,566 12 1,115,945
10 American Eagle 1,427,520 9 1,216,186

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

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

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Nov 2005 Rank Airport Name Nov 2005 Passengers Nov 2004 Rank Nov 2004 Passengers
1 Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta 2,994,572 1 3,108,168
2 Chicago O'Hare 2,541,916 2 2,446,786
3 Dallas-Ft. Worth 2,140,001 3 2,096,052
4 Los Angeles Int'l 1,677,734 4 1,702,895
5 Las Vegas McCarran 1,674,063 5 1,599,275
6 Phoenix Sky Harbor 1,611,853 6 1,533,351
7 Denver 1,490,374 7 1,481,389
8 Houston Bush Intercontinental 1,316,047 11 1,195,320
9 Orlando 1,242,502 10 1,214,929
10 Minneapolis-St.Paul 1,234,745 9 1,261,650

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