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July 2006 Airline Traffic Data: Seven-Month System Traffic Up 0.5 Percent From 2005

July 2006 Airline Traffic Data: Seven-Month System Traffic Up 0.5 Percent From 2005

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BTS 48-06
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Friday, Oct.13, 2006 - U.S. airlines carried 439 million scheduled domestic and international passengers on their systems during the first seven months of 2006, 0.5 percent more than they did during the same period in 2005, 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 U.S. airlines carried 0.2 percent fewer domestic passengers and 6.0 percent more international passengers during the seven-month period in 2006 than during the same period in 2005 (Tables 7, 13).

In the most recent month, July, U.S. airlines carried 69.5 million scheduled domestic and international passengers, 1.6 percent fewer than in July 2005 (Table 2). The number of domestic passengers declined 2.6 percent in July from a year earlier while international passengers increased 6.0 percent (Tables 7, 13).

U.S. carriers operated 6.1 million domestic and international flights during the first seven months of 2006, 4.4 percent fewer than were operated during the same period in 2005 (Table 1). Domestic flights were down 5.0 percent from the previous year while international flights were up 2.7 percent (Tables 7, 13).

In the most recent month, July, U.S. airlines operated 925,900 scheduled domestic and international flights, down 4.0 percent from the number of flights operated in July 2005 (Table 1). The number of domestic flights declined 4.6 percent in July from a year earlier while international flights increased 2.7 percent (Tables 7, 13).

System Comparisons (Table 1-6)

In other total system comparisons from the first seven months of 2005 to the first seven months of 2006 and from July 2005 to July 2006 (Table 1):

Revenue passenger miles (RPMs), a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 2.4 percent in the first seven months. In July, RPMs were up 0.9 percent.

Available seat-miles (ASMs), a measure of airline capacity using the number of seats and the distance flown, were down 0.5 percent in the first seven months. In July, ASMs were down 0.4 percent.

Passenger load factor, passenger miles as a proportion of available seat-miles, was up 2.2 load factor points to 80.3 percent in the first seven months. In July, load factor was up 1.1 load factor points to 85.1 percent.

Flight stage length, the average non-stop distance flown per departure, was up 3.5 percent in the first seven months. In July, flight stage length was up 3.2 percent.

Passenger trip length, the average distance flown per passenger, was up 1.8 percent in the first seven months. In July, passenger trip length was up 2.5 percent.

Among U.S. airlines, American Airlines carried 58.7 million passengers on its system from January to July, the most of any airline (Table 3). In July, American Airlines carried 9.2 million passengers on its system, the most of any airline (Table 4).

Among airports, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was the busiest U.S. airport from January to July, with 24.0 million domestic and international passenger boardings (Table 5). In July, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was the busiest U.S. airport with 3.8 million domestic and international passenger boardings on U. S. carriers (Table 6).

Domestic Air Travel (Tables 7-12)

U.S. airlines carried 387.5 million scheduled domestic passengers during the first seven months of 2006, down 0.2 percent from the 388.3 million carried during the same period in 2005 (Table 8). The passengers were carried on 5.6 million flights, down 5.0 percent from the 5.9 million flights operated in the first seven months of 2005 (Table 7).

In the most recent month, July, the airlines carried 60.8 million scheduled domestic passengers, down 2.6 percent from the 62.4 million carried during July 2005. The passengers were carried on 845,800 flights, down 4.6 percent from the 886,600 flights operated in July 2005 (Table 7).

In other domestic comparisons from the first seven months of 2005 to the first seven months of 2006 and from July 2005 to July 2006 (Table 7):

Domestic revenue passenger miles (RPMs), a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 1.0 percent in the first seven months. In July, domestic RPMs were down 1.4 percent.

Domestic available seat-miles (ASMs), a measure of airline capacity using the number of seats and the distance flown, were down 2.5 percent in the first seven months. In July, domestic ASMs were down 2.6 percent.

Domestic passenger load factor, passenger miles as a proportion of available seat-miles, was up 2.8 load factor points to 80.4 percent in the first seven months. In July, domestic load factor was up 1.0 load factor point to 85.0 percent.

Domestic flight stage length, the average non-stop distance flown per departure, was up 2.6 percent in the first seven months. In July, domestic flight stage length was up 2.3 percent.

Domestic passenger trip length, the average distance flown per passenger, was up 1.2 percent in the first seven months. In July, domestic passenger trip length was up 1.2 percent.

Southwest Airlines carried 56.1 million domestic passengers from January to July, the most of any airline (Table 9). In July, Southwest carried 8.8 million domestic passengers, the most of any airline (Table 10).

Hartsfield-Jackson was the busiest domestic airport from January to July, with 21.9 million domestic passenger boardings (Table 11). In July, Hartsfield-Jackson was the busiest domestic airport with 3.4 million domestic passenger boardings (Table 12).

International Air Travel (Tables 13-18)

U.S. airlines carried 51.5 million scheduled international passengers during the first seven months of 2006, up 6.0 percent from the 48.6 million carried during the same period in 2005 (Table 14). The passengers were carried on 504,000 flights, up 2.7 percent from the 490,800 flights operated in the first seven months of 2005 (Table 13).

In the most recent month, July, the airlines carried 8.7 million international passengers, up 6.1 percent from the 8.2 million carried during July 2005. The passengers were carried on 80,100 flights, up 2.7 percent from the 78,000 flights operated in July 2005 (Table 13).

In other international comparisons from the first seven months of 2005 to the first seven months of 2006 and from July 2005 to July 2006 (Table 13):

International revenue passenger miles (RPMs), a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 6.0 percent in the first seven months. In July, international RPMs were up 7.2 percent.

International available seat-miles (ASMs), a measure of airline capacity using the number of seats and the distance flown, were up 5.0 percent in the first seven months. In July, international ASMs were up 5.3 percent.

International passenger load factor, passenger miles as a proportion of available seat-miles, was up 0.8 load factor points to 80.2 percent in the first seven months. In July, international load factor was up 1.2 load factor points to 85.3 percent.

International flight stage length, the average non-stop distance flown per departure, was up 2.5 percent in the first seven months. In July, international flight stage length was up 3.1 percent.

International passenger trip length, the average distance flown per passenger, was unchanged in the first seven months. In July, international passenger trip length was up 0.9 percent.

American Airlines carried 12.8 million international passengers from January to July, the most of any U.S. airline (Table 15). In July, American carried 1.9 million international passengers, the most of any U.S. airline (Table 16).

Miami International was the busiest U.S. airport for international travel on U.S. carriers from January to July, with 2.7 million international passenger boardings (Table 17). In July, Miami International was the busiest international airport with 435,400 international passenger boardings (Table 18).

Reporting Notes

Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial air carriers detailing operations, passenger traffic and freight traffic. This release includes data received by BTS from 90 carriers as of Oct. 10 for U.S. carrier scheduled civilian operations. U.S. carriers' foreign point-to-point flights are included in system and international totals. To create a customized table for passengers, flights, RPMs, ASMs and other data, including non-scheduled service, go to http://www.bts.gov/programs/airline_information/air_carrier_traffic_statistics/.

Additional traffic numbers are available on the BTS website at TranStats, the Intermodal Transportation Database, at http://transtats.bts.gov. Click on "Aviation." For domestic and international passengers, RPMs and ASMs by carrier and carrier region through June, click on "Air Carrier Summary Data (Form 41 and 298C Summary Data)", and then click on "Schedule T-1".

For domestic numbers through June and international numbers through March by origin as well as by carrier and region, after clicking on "Aviation," click on "Air Carrier Statistics (Form 41 Traffic)". Click on "T-100 Market" for system passenger numbers, "T-100 Domestic Market" for domestic or "T-100 International Market" for international. For flights, stage length and trip length, use the appropriate T-100 Segment database.

TranStats system and international totals do not include U.S. carriers' foreign point-to-point flights. For July, U.S. carriers reported 327,907 foreign point-to-point passengers. For January-to- July, U.S. carriers reported 2,174,537 foreign point-to-point passengers.

Data are subject to revision. BTS has scheduled Nov. 16 for the release of August traffic data.

Table 1. Scheduled System (Domestic and International) Airline Travel on U.S. Carriers

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  Monthly Year-to-Date
July 2005 July 2006 Change % 2005 2006 Change %
Passengers (in millions) 70.6 69.5 -1.6 436.8 439.0 0.5
Flights (in thousands) 964.7 925.9 -4.0 6,385.2 6,101.7 -4.4
Revenue Passenger Miles(in billions) 76.0 76.7 0.9 459.4 470.2 2.4
Available Seat-Miles(in billions) 90.5 90.1 -0.4 588.4 585.3 -0.5
Load Factor* 84.0 85.1 1.1 78.1 80.3 2.2
Flight Stage Length** 686.5 708.8 3.2 678.2 701.7 3.5
Passenger Trip Length*** 1,077.5 1,104.1 2.5 1,051.7 1,071.1 1.8

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

*Change in load factor points

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

*** The average distance flown per passenger in miles

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 2. Total Industry (Domestic and International) Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Carriers

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

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Month 2004 2005 2004-2005 Pct. Change 2006 2005-2006 Pct. Change
January 49.4 54.4 10.2 55.6 2.1
February 50.5 52.9 4.6 53.3 0.9
March 60.3 66.1 9.7 65.8 -0.4
April 59.2 61.6 4.0 63.2 2.6
May 59.1 64.2 8.6 64.4 0.4
June 63.6 67.1 5.5 67.2 0.1
July 67.1 70.6 5.2 69.5 -1.6
August 64.7 66.8 3.3    
September 53.3 56.8 6.5    
October 60.1 59.9 -0.3    
November 57.4 58.7 2.2    
December 59.0 59.5 0.9    
Yr. Total 703.7 738.6 5.0    
7 Mo. Total 409.2 436.8 6.8 439.0 0.5

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 3. Top 10 U.S. Airlines, ranked by Jan.-July 2006 System* Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

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Jan-July 2006 Rank Carrier Jan-July 2006 Enplaned Passengers Jan-July  2005 Rank Jan-July 2005 Enplaned Passengers
1 American 58.7 1 58.0
2 Southwest 56.1 3 51.0
3 Delta 43.8 2 52.9
4 United  41.0 4 38.9
5 Northwest 32.0 5 34.2
6 Continental  27.6 7 25.0
7 US Airways 21.8 6 26.3
8 America West 12.6 8 13.0
9 AirTran  11.9 11 9.5
10 SkyWest  11.2 12 9.3

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

* System equals domestic plus international

Table 4. Top 10 U.S. Airlines, ranked by July 2006 System* Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

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July 2006 Rank Carrier July 2006 Enplaned Passengers July 2005 Rank July 2005 Enplaned Passengers
1 American 9.2 1 9.6
2 Southwest  8.8 2 8.5
3 Delta 6.9 3 8.2
4 United 6.5 4 6.2
5 Northwest 5.1 5 5.5
6 Continental  4.4 6 4.1
7 US Airways 3.3 7 4.0
8 America West  2.0 8 2.1
9 AirTran  2.0 10 1.6
10 SkyWest  1.8 13 1.5

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

* System equals domestic plus international

Table 5. Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by Jan.- July 2006 System* Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

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Jan-July 2006 Rank Airport Jan-July 2006 Enplaned Passengers Jan-July 2005 Rank Jan-July 2005 Enplaned Passengers
1 Atlanta 24.0 1 25.0
2 Chicago O'Hare 20.3 2 19.9
3 Dallas-Fort Worth 16.8 3 16.1
4 Los Angeles Intl 13.5 4 13.4
5 Denver 13.3 5 11.9
6 Las Vegas 12.2 7 11.8
7 Phoenix 12.2 6 11.9
8 Houston Bush Intercontinental 11.8 8 10.8
9 Detroit Metro Wayne County 10.0 10 10.2
10 Minneapolis-St Paul 10.0 9 10.5

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

* System equals domestic plus international

Table 6. Top 10 U.S. Airports ranked by July 2006 System* Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

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July 2006 Rank Airport July 2006 Enplaned Passengers July 2005 Rank July 2005 Enplaned Passengers
1 Atlanta 3.8 1 3.9
2 Chicago O'Hare 3.2 2 3.2
3 Dallas-Fort Worth 2.6 3 2.6
4 Los Angeles Intl 2.2 4 2.2
5 Denver 2.2 5 2.0
6 Houston Bush Intercontinental 1.9 9 1.8
7 Las Vegas 1.8 6 1.8
8 Phoenix 1.8 7 1.8
9 Minneapolis-St Paul 1.6 8 1.8
10 Detroit Metro Wayne County 1.5 10 1.6

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

* System equals domestic plus international

Table 7. Domestic Scheduled Airline Travel on U.S. Carriers

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  Monthly Year-to-Date
July 2005 July 2006 Change % 2005 2006 Change %
Passengers (in millions) 62.4 60.8 -2.6 388.3 387.5 -0.2
Flights (in thousands) 886.6 845.8 -4.6 5,894.4 5,597.7 -5.0
Revenue Passenger Miles(in billions) 55.3 54.5 -1.4 336.0 339.4 1.0
Available Seat-Miles(in billions) 65.8 64.1 -2.6 432.9 422.1 -2.5
Load Factor* 84.0 85.0 1.0 77.6 80.4 2.8
Flight Stage Length** 608.1 621.9 2.3 603.5 619.4 2.6
Passenger Trip Length*** 886.1 896.3 1.2 865.4 875.9 1.2

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

*Change in load factor points

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

*** The average distance flown per passenger in miles

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 8. Domestic Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Carriers

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

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Month 2004 2005 2004-2005 Pct. Change 2006 2005-2006 Pct. Change
January 43.8 48.0 9.5 48.9 1.8
February 45.3 47.1 3.9 47.4 0.6
March 54.2 58.8 8.7 58.3 -1.0
April 53.3 54.9 3.1 55.8 1.7
May 53.0 57.3 8.1 57.1 -0.4
June 57.0 59.7 4.9 59.2 -0.8
July 59.6 62.4 4.7 60.8 -2.6
August 57.4 59.1 3.0    
September 47.7 50.6 6.1    
October 54.2 53.7 -0.8    
November 51.8 52.8 1.9    
December 52.6 52.8 0.3    
Yr. Total 629.8 657.3 4.4    
7 Mo. Tot 366.2 388.3 6.0 387.5 -0.2

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

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 9. Top 10 U.S. Airlines, ranked by Jan.- July 2006 Domestic Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

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Jan-July 2006 Rank Carrier Jan-July 2006 Enplanements Jan-July 2005 Rank Jan-July 2005 Enplanements
1 Southwest 56.1 1 51.0
2 American  46.0 3 45.6
3 Delta 37.9 2 47.9
4 United  33.8 4 32.2
5 Northwest  26.2 5 28.3
6 Continental  21.0 7 19.2
7 US Airways 18.9 6 23.3
8 America West  11.9 8 12.2
9 AirTran 11.8 10 9.4
10 SkyWest  10.8 11 9.0

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

Table 10. Top 10 U.S. Airlines, ranked by July 2006 Domestic Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

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July 2006 Rank Carrier July 2006 Enplanements July 2005 Rank July 2005 Enplanements
1 Southwest 8.8 1 8.5
2 American  7.0 3 7.4
3 Delta 5.8 2 7.4
4 United  5.3 4 5.1
5 Northwest  4.2 5 4.6
6 Continental  3.2 7 3.0
7 US Airways 2.8 6 3.5
8 AirTran 2.0 9 1.6
9 America West  1.9 8 1.9
10 SkyWest  1.7 12 1.4

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

Table 11. Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by Jan.- July 2006 Domestic Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

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Jan-July 2006 Rank Airport Jan-July 2006 Enplanements Jan-July 2005 Rank Jan-July 2005 Enplanements
1 Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson 21.9 1 23.3
2 Chicago O'Hare 18.4 2 18.1
3 Dallas-Fort Worth 15.4 3 14.9
4 Denver 13.0 6 11.6
5 Los Angeles Intl 12.4 4 12.4
6 Las Vegas McCarran 12.1 5 11.7
7 Phoenix Sky Harbor 11.8 7 11.5
8 Houston Bush Intercontinental 9.9 11 9.2
9 Orlando 9.7 9 9.4
10 Minneapolis-St Paul 9.3 8 9.8

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

Table 12. Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by July 2006 Domestic Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

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July 2006 Rank Airport July 2006 Enplanements July 2005 Rank July 2005 Enplanements
1 Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson 3.4 1 3.6
2 Chicago O'Hare 2.9 2 2.9
3 Dallas-Fort Worth 2.4 3 2.4
4 Denver 2.1 5 2.0
5 Los Angeles Intl 2.0 4 2.1
6 Las Vegas McCarran 1.8 6 1.8
7 Phoenix Sky Harbor 1.8 7 1.8
8 Houston Bush Intercontinental 1.5 10 1.5
9 Minneapolis-St Paul 1.5 8 1.7
10 Orlando 1.4 11 1.4

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

Table 13. International Scheduled Airline Travel on U.S. Carriers

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  Monthly Year-to-Date
July 2005 July 2006 Change % 2005 2006 Change %
Passengers (in millions) 8.2 8.7 6.1 48.6 51.5 6.0
Flights (in thousands) 78.0 80.1 2.7 490.8 504.0 2.7
Revenue Passenger-Miles(in billions) 20.7 22.2 7.2 123.4 130.8 6.0
Available Seat-Miles(in billions) 24.7 26.0 5.3 155.4 163.2 5.0
Load Factor* 84.1 85.3 1.2 79.4 80.2 0.8
Flight Stage Length** 1,576.8 1,626.1 3.1 1,575.9 1,615.7 2.5
Passenger Trip Length*** 2,538.6 2,562.5 0.9 2,540.6 2,540.8 0.0

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

*Change in load factor points

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

*** The average distance flown per passenger in miles

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 14. Total Industry International Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Carriers

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

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Month 2004 2005 2004-2005 Pct. Change 2006 2005-2006 Pct. Change
January 5.6 6.5 16.0 6.7 3.9
February 5.2 5.8 10.8 6.0 3.8
March 6.1 7.3 18.8 7.5 4.0
April 5.9 6.7 12.0 7.3 10.3
May 6.0 6.9 13.4 7.3 6.5
June 6.7 7.4 10.9 7.9 7.0
July 7.5 8.2 9.3 8.7 6.0
August 7.3 7.7 6.0    
September 5.7 6.2 9.7    
October 5.9 6.2 4.5    
November 5.7 5.9 4.9    
December 6.3 6.7 5.8    
Yr. Total 73.9 81.3 10.1    
7 Mo. Tot 43.0 48.6 12.9 51.5 6.0

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

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 15. Top 10 U.S. Airlines, ranked by Jan- July 2006 International Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

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Jan-July 2006 Rank Carrier Jan-July 2006 Enplanements Jan-July 2005 Rank Jan-July 2005 Enplanements
1 American 12.8 1 12.4
2 United 7.1 2 6.8
3 Continental 6.6 4 5.9
4 Delta 5.9 5 5.0
5 Northwest 5.7 3 5.9
6 US Airways 2.9 6 3.0
7 Alaska 1.4 7 1.3
8 ExpressJet 1.2 9 1.0
9 Executive 1.1 8 1.1
10 America West 0.8 10 0.8

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

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding

Table 16. Top 10 U.S. Airlines, ranked by July 2006 International Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

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July 2006 Rank Carrier July 2006 Enplanements July 2005 Rank July 2005 Enplanements
1 American 2.2 1 2.2
2 Continental 1.2 3 1.1
3 United 1.1 2 1.1
4 Delta 1.1 5 0.9
5 Northwest 0.9 4 0.9
6 US Airways 0.5 6 0.5
7 ExpressJet 0.2 7 0.2
8 Executive 0.2 9 0.2
9 Alaska 0.2 8 0.2
10 Continental Micronesia 0.1 10 0.1

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

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding

Table 17. Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by Jan.- July 2006 International Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

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Jan-July 2006 Rank Airport Jan-July 2006 Enplanements Jan-July 2005 Rank Jan-July 2005 Enplanements
1 Miami 2,658.8 1 2,521.7
2 Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson 2,114.3 5 1,698.6
3 New York John F. Kennedy  2,035.5 2 2,076.2
4 Newark Liberty 2,002.6 4 1,714.6
5 Chicago O'Hare 1,946.2 3 1,822.5
6 Houston Bush Intercontinental 1,813.4 6 1,651.7
7 Dallas-Fort Worth 1,349.0 7 1,266.1
8 Los Angeles Intl 1,043.4 8 1,012.8
9 San Francisco 989.8 9 969.2
10 Detroit Metro Wayne County 971.2 10 964.6

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

Table 18. Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by July 2006 International Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

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July 2006 Rank Airport July 2006 Enplanements July 2005 Rank July 2005 Enplanements
1 Miami 435.4 1 424.8
2 New York John F. Kennedy   381.9 2 366.6
3 Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson 371.9 6 269.0
4 Newark Liberty 346.8 3 315.0
5 Chicago O'Hare 312.4 4 297.0
6 Houston Bush Intercontinental 311.9 5 284.1
7 Dallas-Fort Worth 216.4 7 220.0
8 Los Angeles Intl 166.3 8 163.6
9 San Francisco 152.6 10 148.7
10 Philadelphia 145.9 11 145.9

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