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January 2011 Airline System Traffic Up 2.2 Percent from January 2010

January 2011 Airline System Traffic Up 2.2 Percent from January 2010

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BTS 20-11
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Thursday, April 14, 2011 - The U.S. Department of Transportations Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) today reported that U.S. airlines carried 53.7 million scheduled domestic and international passengers in January 2011. This is a 2.2 percent increase from January 2010 (Table 1). The January 2011 passenger total was 3.7 percent above that of two years ago in January 2009 but still remained 6.9 percent below the early recession level of 57.7 million in January 2008 (Table 2).

BTS, a part of DOTs Research and Innovative Technology Administration, also reported in a release of preliminary data that U.S. airlines carried 1.8 percent more domestic passengers in January 2011 than in January 2010 (Table 5). The number of international passengers on U.S. carriers in January 2011 increased 4.8 percent over January 2010 (Table 9). The January 2011 load factors of 76.5 percent systemwide and 76.6 percent domestic were the highest recorded for any January (Tables 1, 5).

Passenger Load Factor on All U.S. Scheduled Airlines (Domestic & International), Feb 2009-Jan 2011

Table Version | Excel | CSV

Passenger Load Factor on All U.S. Scheduled Airlines (Domestic & International), Feb 2009-Jan 2011

Additional traffic numbers can be found on the BTS website in the Airline Industry box. Click on a link in the column on the right. For more historic numbers, see Traffic on the BTS website.

Top Airlines in January

In January, Southwest Airlines carried more total system and domestic passengers than any other U.S. airline (Tables 3, 7). American Airlines carried the most international passengers (Table 11).

Top Airports in January

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

Flights Operated

In January, U.S. airlines operated 750,500 scheduled domestic and international flights, down 1.7 percent from the number of flights operated in January 2010 (Table 1). The number of domestic flights decreased 2.1 percent in January from a year earlier while international flights were up 2.6 percent (Tables 5, 9).

For other comparisons from January 2010 to January 2011, see the following tables:

System Comparisons (Tables 1-4)

Table 1 (January and previous calendar years):
Revenue passenger-miles (RPMs)
Available seat-miles (ASMs)
Passenger load factor
Flight stage length
Passenger trip length

Table 2
System scheduled enplanements on U.S. airlines by month since January 2009

Airline Rankings

Table 3
January: Top 10 airlines by scheduled passenger enplanements

Airport Rankings

Table 4
January: Top 10 airports by scheduled passenger enplanements on U.S. airlines

Domestic Air Travel (Tables 5-8)

Table 5 (January and previous calendar years):
Domestic revenue passenger-miles (RPMs)
Domestic available seat-miles (ASMs)
Domestic passenger load factor
Domestic flight stage length
Domestic passenger trip length

Table 6
Domestic scheduled enplanements on U.S. airlines by month since January 2009

Airline Rankings

Table 7
January: Top 10 domestic airlines by scheduled passenger enplanements

Airport Rankings

Table 8
January: Top 10 domestic airports by scheduled passenger enplanements

International Air Travel (Tables 9-12)

Table 9 (January and previous calendar years):
International revenue passenger-miles on U.S. airlines (RPMs)
International available seat-miles on U.S. airlines (ASMs)
International passenger load factor on U.S. airlines
International flight stage length on U.S. airlines
International passenger trip length on U.S. airlines

Table 10
International scheduled enplanements on U.S. airlines by month since January 2009

Table 11
January: Top 10 U.S. airlines by scheduled international passenger enplanements

Airport Rankings

Table 12
January: Top 10 airports by scheduled international passenger enplanements on U.S. airlines

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 81 carriers as of April 5 for U.S. carrier scheduled civilian operations. Go to http://www.transtats.bts.gov/releaseinfo.asp for the complete list of reporting and non-reporting carriers. 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/.

Traffic numbers are available on the BTS website at TranStats, 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." Use crosstabs to find scheduled service.

For domestic numbers through January and international numbers through October by origin as well as by carrier, 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. Use crosstabs to find scheduled service.

TranStats system and international totals do not include U.S. carriers foreign point-to-point flights. For January, U.S. carriers reported 230,378 foreign point-to-point passengers.

Data are subject to revision. BTS has scheduled May 12 for the release of February traffic data.

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

Excel | CSV

  Monthly Previous Calendar Years
Jan 2010 Jan 2011 Change % 2009 2010 Change %
Passengers (in millions) 52.6 53.7 2.2 703.9 720.5 2.4
Flights (in thousands) 763.3 750.5 -1.7 9,565.8 9519.3 -0.5
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions) 58.7 60.7 3.5 769.4 798.0 3.7
Available Seat-Miles (in billions) 77.5 79.3 2.3 957.1 972.6 1.6
Load Factor* 75.7 76.5 0.8 80.4 82.1 1.7
Flight Stage Length** 727.1 746.2 2.6 716.4 729.2 1.8
Passenger Trip Length*** 1,116.1 1,131.0 1.3 1,093.0 1,107.6 1.3

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. Airlines

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

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  2009 2010 2009-2010 Pct. Change 2011 2010-2011 Pct. Change
January 51.8 52.6 1.4 53.7 2.2
February 49.8 48.7 -2.3    
March 61.0 62.2 2.0    
April 59.5 59.6 0.2    
May 59.7 61.5 2.9    
June 63.6 65.0 2.3    
July 68.1 68.4 0.5    
August 65.0 66.3 1.9    
September 54.7 57.4 4.9    
October 58.8 62.1 5.6    
November 54.8 58.2 6.1    
December 56.9 58.6 2.9    
1 Mo. Total 51.8 52.6 1.4 53.7 2.2
Yr. Total 703.9 720.5 2.4    

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 2011 System* Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

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Jan 2011 Rank Carrier Jan 2011 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2010 Rank Jan 2010 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2010-2011
1 Southwest 8.307 2 7.576 9.7
2 Delta 7.955 1 7.832 1.6
3 American 6.706 3 6.699 0.1
4 US Airways 4.028 5 3.883 3.7
5 United 3.873 4 4.099 -5.5
6 Continental 3.453 6 3.320 4.0
7 JetBlue 1.913 7 1.749 9.4
8 SkyWest 1.841 8 1.743 5.6
9 AirTran 1.679 9 1.689 -0.6
10 Alaska 1.313 11 1.181 11.2

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

* System equals domestic plus international

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Note: For previous rankings see BTS Air Traffic Press Releases

Table 4. Top 10 U.S. Airports ranked by January 2011 System* Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Airlines**

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Excel | CSV

Jan 2011 Rank Airport Jan 2011 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2010 Rank Jan 2010 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2010-2011
1 Atlanta 2.981 1 3.022 -1.4
2 Dallas/Ft. Worth 2.024 3 1.995 1.5
3 Chicago O'Hare 2.010 2 2.063 -2.6
4 Denver 1.866 4 1.784 4.6
5 Los Angeles 1.756 5 1.671 5.1
6 Phoenix 1.545 6 1.463 5.6
7 Las Vegas 1.436 8 1.354 6.1
8 Houston Bush 1.429 7 1.426 0.2
9 Charlotte 1.415 9 1.301 8.7
10 Orlando 1.301 10 1.253 3.8

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

* System equals domestic plus international

** Numbers do not include international enplanements on foreign carriers

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Note: For previous rankings see BTS Air Traffic Press Releases.

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

Excel | CSV

  Monthly Previous Calendar Years
Jan 2010 Jan 2011 Change % 2009 2010 Change %
Passengers (in millions) 45.5 46.3 1.8 618.1 629.5 1.9
Flights (in thousands) 694.9 680.3 -2.1 8,766.4 8,697.2 -0.8
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions) 40.3 41.2 2.2 539.0 552.8 2.6
Available Seat-Miles (in billions) 53.8 53.8 0.0 664.6 672.4 1.2
Load Factor* 74.9 76.6 1.7 81.1 82.2 1.1
Flight Stage Length** 627.2 636.5 1.5 617.5 627.2 1.6
Passenger Trip Length*** 885.7 889.5 0.4 872.1 878.2 0.7

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. Airlines

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Excel | CSV

  2009 2010 2009-2010 Pct. Change 2011 2010-2011 Pct. Change
January 44.8 45.5 1.5 46.3 1.8
February 43.7 42.4 -2.8    
March 53.5 54.4 1.7    
April 52.2 52.5 0.5    
May 52.9 53.8 1.7    
June 55.9 56.7 1.4    
July 59.5 59.1 -0.6    
August 56.6 57.4 1.4    
September 48.2 50.3 4.3    
October 52.3 54.8 4.9    
November 48.6 51.4 5.8    
December 49.8 51.1 2.6    
1 Mo. Total 44.8 45.5 1.5 46.3 1.8
Yr. Total 618.1 629.5 1.9    

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 2011 Domestic Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Excel | CSV

Jan 2011 Rank Carrier Jan 2011 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2010 Rank Jan 2010 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2010-2011
1 Southwest 8.307 1 7.576 9.7
2 Delta 6.354 2 6.270 1.3
3 American 4.984 3 5.071 -1.7
4 US Airways 3.501 4 3.380 3.6
5 United 3.012 5 3.257 -7.5
6 Continental 2.274 6 2.296 -1.0
7 SkyWest 1.716 8 1.642 4.5
8 JetBlue 1.667 9 1.537 8.5
9 AirTran 1.635 7 1.664 -1.8
10 Alaska 1.157 11 1.026 12.7

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

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Note: For previous rankings see BTS Air Traffic Press Releases

Table 8. Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by January 2011 Domestic Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Excel | CSV

Jan 2011 Rank Airport Jan 2011 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2010 Rank Jan 2010 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2010-2011
1 Atlanta 2.678 1 2.726 -1.8
2 Dallas/Ft. Worth 1.844 3 1.829 0.8
3 Denver 1.808 4 1.726 4.7
4 Chicago O'Hare 1.776 2 1.839 -3.4
5 Los Angeles 1.610 5 1.536 4.8
6 Phoenix 1.474 6 1.394 5.7
7 Las Vegas 1.435 7 1.353 6.0
8 Charlotte 1.315 9 1.214 8.3
9 Orlando 1.278 8 1.238 3.2
10 Houston Bush 1.141 10 1.158 -1.4

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

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Note: For previous rankings see BTS Air Traffic Press Releases

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

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  Monthly Previous Calendar Years
Jan 2010 Jan 2011 Change % 2009 2011 Change %
Passengers (in millions) 7.0 7.4 4.8 85.8 91.0 6.0
Flights (in thousands) 68.4 70.2 2.6 799.4 822.1 2.8
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions) 18.4 19.5 6.4 230.4 245.2 6.4
Available Seat-Miles (in billions) 23.7 25.5 7.6 292.5 300.1 2.6
Load Factor* 77.6 76.5 -1.1 78.8 81.7 2.9
Flight Stage Length** 1,741.9 1,809.1 3.9 1,801.0 1,808.2 0.4
Passenger Trip Length*** 2,603.4 2,644.4 1.6 2,684.1 2,695.5 0.4

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. Airlines

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Excel | CSV

  2009 2010 2009-2010 Pct. Change 2011 2010-2011 Pct. Change
January 7.0 7.0 0.9 7.4 4.8
February 6.2 6.2 1.2    
March 7.4 7.8 4.7    
April 7.3 7.2 -1.8    
May 6.8 7.6 12.2    
June 7.7 8.3 8.4    
July 8.6 9.3 7.5    
August 8.5 8.9 4.9    
September 6.4 7.0 9.4    
October 6.5 7.3 11.8    
November 6.3 6.7 7.8    
December 7.2 7.5 5.0    
1 Mo. Total 7.0 7.0 0.9 7.4 4.8
Yr. Total 85.8 91.0 6.0    

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 2011 International Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

Excel | CSV

Jan 2011 Rank Carrier Jan 2011 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2010 Rank Jan 2010 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2010-2011
1 American 1,722.4 1 1,627.4 5.8
2 Delta 1,601.1 2 1,562.4 2.5
3 Continental 1,179.3 3 1,023.7 15.2
4 United 860.4 4 842.7 2.1
5 US Airways 526.8 5 502.6 4.8
6 JetBlue 246.5 6 212.7 15.9
7 Alaska 155.6 7 154.1 1.0
8 SkyWest 124.3 10 101.3 22.7
9 Spirit 116.9 12 92.0 27.1
10 ExpressJet 113.8 8 151.0 -24.6

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

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Note: For previous rankings see BTS Air Traffic Press Releases

Table 12. Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by January 2011 International Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Airlines*

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

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Jan 2011 Rank Carrier Jan 2011 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2010 Rank Jan 2010 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2010-2011
1 Miami 463.8 1 433.6 7.0
2 New York JFK 329.2 3 299.1 10.1
3 Atlanta 302.6 4 295.7 2.3
4 Newark 299.4 2 310.1 -3.5
5 Houston Bush 288.2 5 268.4 7.4
6 Chicago O'Hare 233.4 6 223.7 4.3
7 Dallas/Ft. Worth 179.4 7 165.9 8.1
8 Los Angeles 146.8 8 134.8 8.9
9 Washington Dulles 119.0 9 123.4 -3.5
10 San Francisco 118.4 10 107.0 10.7

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

* Numbers do not include international enplanements on foreign carriers

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Note: For previous rankings see BTS Air Traffic Press Releases