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January 2008 Airline Traffic Data: January 2008 System Traffic Up 1.0 Percent from January 2007

January 2008 Airline Traffic Data: January 2008 System Traffic Up 1.0 Percent from January 2007

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BTS 17-08
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Thursday, April 10, 2008 - U.S. airlines carried 57.7 million scheduled domestic and international passengers in January 2008, 1.0 percent more than they did in January 2007, 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 DOTs Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the rise was the 16th consecutive monthly increase in system passengers from the same month of the previous year (Table 2).

U.S. airlines carried 0.4 percent more domestic passengers and 4.9 percent more international passengers in January 2008 than in January 2007 (Tables 5, 9). These passengers traveled on planes with average load factors of 74.0 percent (Tables 1, 5, 9).

Top Airlines in January

American Airlines carried more total system and international passengers in January 2008 than any other airline (Tables 3, 11); and Southwest Airlines carried more domestic passengers (Table 7).

America West Airlines and US Airways report jointly as US Airways. Numbers reported as US Airways in this release for previous years do not include America Wests numbers. See the notes for system, domestic and international airline ranking tables 3, 7 and 11 for 2007 passenger numbers previously reported for America West.

Top Airports in January

More total system and domestic passengers boarded planes in January 2008 at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International than at any other U.S. airport (Tables 4 and 8); more international passengers boarded U.S. carriers at Miami International than at any other U.S. airport (Table 12).

Flights Operated

U.S. carriers operated 863,000 domestic and international flights in January 2008, 1.5 percent fewer than in January 2007 (Table 1). Domestic fights were down 1.7 percent from January of the previous year while international flights were up 1.0 percent (Tables 5, 9).

System Comparisons (Table 1-4)

In other total system comparisons from January 2007 to January 2008 (Table 1):

Revenue passenger miles (RPMs), a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 2.6 percent in January 2008.

Available seat-miles (ASMs), a measure of airline capacity using the number of seats and the distance flown, were up 1.8 percent in January 2008.

Passenger load factor, passenger miles as a proportion of available seat-miles, was up 0.6 load factor points in January 2008.

Flight stage length, the average non-stop distance flown per departure, was up 3.0 percent in January 2008.

Passenger trip length, the average distance flown per passenger, was up 1.6 percent in January 2008.

Among U.S. airlines, American Airlines carried 7.7 million passengers on its system in January 2008, the most of any airline (Table 3).

Among airports, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International was the busiest U.S. airport in January 2008, with 3.1 million domestic and international passenger boardings on U. S. carriers (Table 4).

Domestic Air Travel (Tables 5-8)

U.S. airlines carried 50.2 million scheduled domestic passengers in January 2008, up 0.4 percent from 50.0 million carried in January 2007 (Table 6). The passengers were carried on 790,400 flights, down 1.7 percent from the 803,800 flights operated in January 2007 (Table 5).

In other domestic comparisons from January 2007 to January 2008 (Table 5):

Domestic revenue passenger miles (RPMs), a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 0.9 percent in January 2008.

Domestic available seat-miles (ASMs), a measure of airline capacity using the number of seats and the distance flown, were unchanged in January 2008.

Domestic passenger load factor, passenger miles as a proportion of available seat-miles, was up 0.6 load factor points to 72.9 percent in January 2008.

Domestic flight stage length, the average non-stop distance flown per departure, was up 2.2 percent in January 2008.

Domestic passenger trip length, the average distance flown per passenger, was up 0.5 percent in January 2008.

Southwest Airlines carried 7.7 million domestic passengers in January 2008, the most of any airline (Table 7).

Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International was the busiest domestic airport in January 2008, with 2.8 million domestic passenger boardings (Table 8).

International Air Travel (Tables 9-12)

U.S. airlines carried 7.5 million scheduled international passengers in January 2008, up 4.9 percent from the 7.1 million carried in January 2007 (Table 9). The passengers were carried on 72,600 flights, up 1.0 percent from the 71,900 flights operated in January 2007 (Table 9).

In other international comparisons from January 2007 to January 2008 (Table 9):

International revenue passenger miles (RPMs), a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 6.6 percent in January 2008.

International available seat-miles (ASMs), a measure of airline capacity using the number of seats and the distance flown, were up 6.1 percent in January 2008.

International passenger load factor, passenger miles as a proportion of available seat-miles, was up 0.4 load factor points to 76.5 in January 2008.

International flight stage length, the average non-stop distance flown per departure, was up 4.5 percent in January 2008.

International passenger trip length, the average distance flown per passenger was up 1.7 percent in January 2008.

American Airlines carried 1.8 million international passengers in January 2008, the most of any U.S. airline (Table 11).

Miami International was the busiest U.S. airport for international travel on U.S. carriers in January 2008, with 427,500 international passenger boardings (Table 12).

Reporting Notes

Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial U.S. air carriers detailing operations, passenger traffic and freight traffic. This release includes data received by BTS from 91 carriers as of April 3 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 system passengers, RPMs and ASMs by carrier through January, click on "Air Carrier Summary Data (Form 41 and 298C Summary Data)," and then click on "Schedule T-1."

For domestic numbers through January and international numbers through October 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 that are included in the summary totals in this press release. For January, U.S. carriers reported 248,344 foreign point-to-point passengers.

Data are subject to revision. BTS has scheduled May 15 for the release of February traffic data.

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

Excel | CSV

  Monthly Previous Calendar Years
Jan 2007 Jan 2008 Change % 2006 2007 Change %
Passengers (in millions) 57.1 57.7 1.0 744.7 769.5 3.3
Flights (in thousands) 875.8 863.0 -1.5 10,557.9 10,667.0 1.0
Revenue Passenger Miles(in billions) 61.9 63.5 2.6 797.4 829.4 4.0
Available Seat-Miles(in billions) 84.4 85.8 1.8 1,006.3 1,037.6 3.1
Load Factor* 73.4 74.0 0.6 79.2 79.9 0.7
Flight Stage Length** 700.9 721.7 3.0 697.3 707.9 1.5
Passenger Trip Length*** 1,083.3 1,100.7 1.6 1,070.8 1,077.9 0.7

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 System (Domestic and International) Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Carriers

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Excel | CSV

  2006 2007 2006-2007 Pct. Change 2008 2007-2008 Pct. Change
January 55.6 57.1 2.8 57.7 1.0
February 53.3 54.1 1.4    
March 65.8 67.2 2.0    
April 63.2 64.9 2.7    
May 64.4 66.8 3.6    
June 67.2 69.7 3.6    
July 69.5 72.4 4.1    
August 66.5 71.3 7.3    
September 56.4 59.2 4.9    
October 61.6 64.2 4.1    
November 60.3 61.9 2.7    
December 60.7 60.8 0.1    
Yr. Total 744.7 769.5 3.3    

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 January 2008 System* Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Excel | CSV

Jan 2008 Rank Carrier Jan 2008 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2007 Rank Jan 2006 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2007-2008
1 American 7.670 1 7.685 -0.2
2 Southwest 7.654 2 7.285 5.1
3 Delta 5.344 3 5.487 -2.6
4 United 4.776 4 5.323 -10.3
5 US Airways** 4.317 7 2.856 51.2
6 Northwest 3.896 5 4.083 -4.6
7 Continental 3.731 6 3.694 1.0
8 JetBlue 1.727 8 1.645 5.0
9 AirTran 1.630 11 1.494 9.1
10 SkyWest 1.588 10 1.628 -2.4

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

* System equals domestic plus international

** US Airways 2008 number is the report of the merged US Airways and America West. The 2007 numbers were reported separately by US Airways and America West. America West reported 1.642 million system passengers in January 2007.

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 4: Top 10 U.S. Airports ranked by January 2008 System* Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Excel | CSV

Jan 2008 Rank Airport Jan 2008 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2007 Rank Jan 2007 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2007-2008
1 Atlanta 3.133 1 3.043 3.0
2 Chicago O'Hare 2.300 2 2.578 -10.8
3 Dallas-Ft. Worth 2.133 3 2.110 1.1
4 Denver 1.777 4 1.770 0.4
5 Los Angeles 1.755 5 1.767 -0.7
6 Las Vegas 1.613 6 1.642 -1.8
7 Houston Bush 1.572 8 1.571 0.0
8 Phoenix 1.558 7 1.609 -3.1
9 Orlando 1.389 9 1.325 4.8
10 Charlotte 1.300 14 1.217 6.8

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

* System equals domestic plus international

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 5: Domestic Scheduled Airline Travel on U.S. Carriers

Excel | CSV

  Monthly Previous Calendar Years
Jan 2007 Jan 2008 Change % 2006 2007 Change %
Passengers (in millions) 50.0 50.2 0.4 658.4 679.1 3.1
Flights (in thousands) 803.8 790.4 -1.7 9,708.1 9,810.2 1.1
Revenue Passenger Miles(in billions) 43.8 44.2 0.9 574.5 592.4 3.1
Available Seat-Miles(in billions) 60.6 60.6 0.0 725.7 741.3 2.1
Load Factor* 72.3 72.9 0.6 79.2 79.9 0.7
Flight Stage Length** 616.5 630.0 2.2 614.8 620.0 0.9
Passenger Trip Length*** 876.1 880.6 0.5 872.6 872.2 0.0

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 6: Domestic Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Carriers

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Excel | CSV

  2006 2007 2006-2007 Pct. Change 2008 2007-2008 Pct. Change
January 48.9 50.0 2.3 50.2 0.4
February 47.4 47.8 0.9    
March 58.3 59.2 1.6    
April 55.8 57.4 2.8    
May 57.1 59.3 3.7    
June 59.3 61.5 3.7    
July 60.8 63.4 4.3    
August 58.3 62.6 7.4    
September 50.0 52.3 4.7    
October 55.1 57.2 3.8    
November 53.9 55.0 2.2    
December 53.5 53.3 -0.5    
Yr. Total 658.4 679.1 3.1    

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

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 7: Top 10 U.S. Airlines, ranked by January 2008 Domestic Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Excel | CSV

Jan 2008 Rank Carrier Jan 2008 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2007 Rank Jan 2007 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2007-2008
1 Southwest 7.654 1 7.285 5.1
2 American 5.851 2 5.910 -1.0
3 Delta 4.447 3 4.621 -3.8
4 US Airways* 3.833 7 2.536 51.1
5 United 3.815 4 4.364 -12.6
6 Northwest 3.075 5 3.278 -6.2
7 Continental 2.771 6 2.800 -1.0
8 JetBlue 1.639 8 1.600 2.4
9 AirTran 1.630 11 1.490 9.4
10 SkyWest 1.503 9 1.545 -2.7

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

* US Airways 2008 number is the report of the merged US Airways and America West. The 2007 number was reported separately by US Airways and America West. America West reported 1.519 million domestic passengers in January 2007.

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 8: Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by January 2008 Domestic Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Excel | CSV

Jan 2008 Rank Airport Jan 2008 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2007 Rank Jan 2007 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2007-2008
1 Atlanta 2.824 1 2.744 2.9
2 Chicago O'Hare 2.054 2 2.322 -11.5
3 Dallas-Ft. Worth 1.957 3 1.945 0.6
4 Denver 1.714 4 1.714 0.0
5 Las Vegas 1.599 5 1.626 -1.6
6 Los Angeles 1.593 6 1.607 -0.9
7 Phoenix 1.497 7 1.555 -3.7
8 Orlando 1.383 9 1.319 4.9
9 Houston Bush 1.318 8 1.329 -0.8
10 Charlotte 1.212 11 1.141 6.2

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

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 9: International Scheduled Airline Travel on U.S. Carriers

Excel | CSV

  Monthly Previous Calendar Years
Jan 2007 Jan 2008 Change % 2006 2007 Change %
Passengers (in millions) 7.1 7.5 4.9 86.3 90.4 4.7
Flights (in thousands) 71.9 72.6 1.0 849.8 856.8 0.8
Revenue Passenger-Miles(in billions) 18.1 19.3 6.6 222.9 237.1 6.4
Available Seat-Miles(in billions) 23.7 25.2 6.1 280.6 296.3 5.6
Load Factor* 76.1 76.5 0.4 79.4 80.0 0.6
Flight Stage Length** 1,644.5 1,719.1 4.5 1,640.3 1,714.2 4.5
Passenger Trip Length*** 2,540.7 2,583.0 1.7 2,582.4 2,623.1 1.6

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 10: International Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Carriers

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Excel | CSV

  2006 2007 2006-2007 Pct. Change 2008 2007-2008 Pct. Change
January 6.7 7.1 6.0 7.5 4.9
February 6.0 6.3 5.4    
March 7.5 7.9 5.0    
April 7.3 7.5 1.9    
May 7.3 7.5 2.6    
June 7.9 8.2 3.3    
July 8.7 8.9 3.2    
August 8.2 8.7 6.1    
September 6.5 6.9 6.5    
October 6.6 7.0 6.3    
November 6.4 6.9 6.5    
December 7.2 7.5 4.9    
Yr. Total 86.3 90.4 4.7    

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

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 11: Top 10 U.S. Airlines, ranked by January 2008 International Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Carriers

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

Excel | CSV

Jan 2008 Rank Carrier Jan 2008 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2007 Rank Jan 2007 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2007-2008
1 American 1,818.8 1 1,775.2 2.5
2 United 961.5 2 958.2 0.3
3 Continental 959.3 3 894.3 7.3
4 Delta 896.5 4 866.2 3.5
5 Northwest 820.9 5 805.0 2.0
6 US Airways* 484.1 6 319.2 51.6
7 Alaska 203.0 7 203.3 -0.1
8 ExpressJet 168.6 8 160.4 5.1
9 Executive 142.2 9 138.1 3.0
10 Spirit 110.0 14 65.7 67.5

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

* US Airways 2008 number is the report of the merged US Airways and America West. The 2007 number was reported separately by US Airways and America West. America West reported 122,800 international passengers in January 2007.

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 12: Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by January 2008 International Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

Excel | CSV

Jan 2008 Rank Airport Jan 2008 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2007 Rank Jan 2007 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2007-2008
1 Miami 427.5 1 397.2 7.6
2 Atlanta 309.2 2 298.8 3.5
3 New York JFK 302.2 3 269.9 12.0
4 Newark 286.8 4 262.8 9.1
5 Houston Bush 253.6 6 242.9 4.4
6 Chicago O'Hare 245.9 5 256.5 -4.1
7 Dallas-Ft. Worth 176.1 7 165.5 6.4
8 Los Angeles 162.1 8 159.6 1.6
9 San Francisco 145.6 9 138.4 5.2
10 Detroit Metro 130.7 10 122.1 7.1

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

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.