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January 2006 Domestic Airline Traffic Up 0.7 Percent From January 2005

January 2006 Domestic Airline Traffic Up 0.7 Percent From January 2005

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BTS 17-06
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Thursday, April 13, 2006 - U.S. airlines carried 0.7 percent more domestic passengers and flew 4.5 percent fewer domestic flights during January 2006 than they did during January 2005, 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 48.6 million domestic passengers during January 2006, up from the 48.2 million in January 2005 (Table 2). These passengers were carried on 774,532 flights, down 4.5 percent from the 811,071 flights operated in January 2005 (Table 1).

In other domestic comparisons from January 2005 to January 2006 (Table 1):

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 using the number of seats and the distance flown, were down 1.5 percent.

Load factor, passengers carried as a proportion of available seats, was up 2.8 points.

Flight stage length, the average non-stop distance flown per departure, was up 2.6 percent.

Passenger trip length, the average distance flown per passenger, was up 1.6 percent.

Among airlines, Southwest Airlines carried 6.9 million domestic passengers during January 2006, the most of any airline.  JetBlue Airways was ranked in the Top 10 for the first time (Table 3).

Among airports, Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta was the busiest U.S. airport for domestic travel during January 2006, with 2.8 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 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.  December traffic data are preliminary and include data received by BTS from 126 airlines as of April 11.  Data are subject to revision.

Revised data from December 2005 and previous months are posted on the BTS website at http://transtats.bts.gov. BTS will release February 2006 traffic data on May 11.

Table 1. Domestic Airline Travel in January

Excel | CSV

  Jan. 2005 Jan. 2006 Change
Passengers (in millions) 48.2 48.6 0.7%
Flights (in thousands) 811 775 −4.5%
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions) 41.9 42.9 2.4%
Available Seat-Miles (in billions) 60.1 59.1 −1.5%
Load factor 69.8 72.6 2.8 points
Flight stage length* 604 620 2.6%
Passenger trip length** 870 884 1.6%

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

** The average distance flown per passenger in miles

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.t

Source: T-100 Domestic Market and Segment

Table 2. Total Industry Domestic Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

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Month 2004 2005 2004-2005 Pct. Change 2006 2005-2006 Pct. Change
January 44.2 48.2 9.0 48.6 0.7
February 45.7 47.3 3.6    
March 54.6 59.2 8.3    
April 53.7 55.2 2.8    
May 53.4 57.6 7.8    
June 57.4 60.0 4.6    
July 60.1 62.7 4.5    
August 57.8 59.4 2.8    
September 48.0 50.8 5.9    
October 54.6 54.0 −1.0    
November 52.1 53.0 1.8    
December 52.9 53.0 0.2    
Annual Total 634.5 660.6 4.1    

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.t

Source: T-100 Domestic Market

Table 3. Top 10 Airlines, Ranked by January 2006 Domestic Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

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Jan. 2006 Rank Carrier Jan. 2006 Jan. 2005 Rank Jan. 2005
1 Southwest 6.863 2 6.04
2 American 6.071 3 5.784
3 Delta 5.181 1 6.186
4 United 4.288 4 4.231
5 Northwest 3.156 5 3.381
6 Continental 2.709 7 2.392
7 US Airways 2.346 6 2.797
8 America West 1.569 8 1.571
9 JetBlue 1.355 12 1.054
10 SkyWest 1.341 10 1.121

Source: T-100 Domestic Market

Table 4. Top 10 Airports Ranked by January 2006 Domestic Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

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Jan. 2006 Rank Airport Name Jan. 2006 Jan. 2005 Rank Jan. 2005
1 Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta 2.814 1 2.880
2 Chicago O'Hare 2.300 2 2.168
3 Dallas-Ft. Worth 2.014 3 1.957
4 Denver 1.621 6 1.502
5 Las Vegas McCarran 1.606 5 1.537
6 Los Angeles Int'l 1.577 4 1.610
7 Phoenix Sky Harbor 1.558 7 1.465
8 Houston Bush Intercontinental 1.303 10 1.164
9 Orlando 1.280 8 1.286
10 Minneapolis-St.Paul 1.160 9 1.195

Source: T-100 Domestic Market