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U.S Airlines and Foreign Airlines U.S. Passengers Continue to Increase from 2009

U.S Airlines and Foreign Airlines U.S. Passengers Continue to Increase from 2009

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Dave Smallen
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012 - The U.S. Department of Transportations Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) today reported that 803.5 million scheduled passengers traveled on U.S. airlines and on foreign airlines serving the United States in 2011. This is a 1.7 percent increase from 2010 (Table 1). The 2011 passenger total was 4.3 percent higher than in 2009 (Table 2).

BTS, a part of DOTs Research and Innovative Technology Administration, in a release of preliminary data, reported that U.S. airlines carried 1.3 percent more domestic passengers in 2011 and 1.7 percent more international passengers than in 2010 for the systemwide increase of 1.3 percent. Passengers to and from the United States on foreign carriers increased 5.6 percent from 2010 (Table 1A).

This release includes data on U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States. BTS regular monthly air traffic releases include data on U.S. carrier scheduled service only. For U.S. domestic service data for 2011, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release.

The number of passengers increased in every month of 2011 from 2010 except in October when a 1.3 percent decrease in domestic passengers resulted in a systemwide 0.7 percent decrease that was not fully offset by an increase in international passengers (Tables 2, 7). Higher fuel prices led to airlines cutting back to fall/winter schedules earlier than usual. As a result, there were not as many domestic seats available in October as expected.

Top Airlines in 2011

Delta Air Lines, following its merger with Northwest Airlines, carried more total system passengers in 2011 than any other U.S. airline for the second consecutive year (Table 3). American Airlines carried more international passengers to and from the United States in 2011 than any other U.S. or foreign carrier, followed closely by Delta (Table 7).

Top Airports in 2011

More total system passengers boarded planes in 2011 at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International than at any other U.S. airport (Table 4); and more international passengers boarded planes at New York John F. Kennedy than at any other U.S. airport (Table 8).

For more information on U.S. carrier domestic operations, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release.

Flights Operated

U.S. carriers and foreign carriers serving the United States operated 10.0 million domestic and international flights in 2011, 0.4 percent fewer than operated in 2010 (Table 1).

For other U.S. and foreign airline comparisons from 2010 to 2011, see the following tables

Domestic + International Air Travel to and from the United States on U.S. and Foreign Airlines (Tables 1-4)

Table 1:
Passengers
Flights
Revenue passenger-miles (RPMs)
Available seat-miles (ASMs)
Passenger load factor
Flight stage length
Passenger trip length

Table 2
Scheduled enplanements on U.S. airlines and foreign airlines serving the United States by month since January 2009

Airline Rankings

Table 3
Top 10 airlines by scheduled domestic and international passenger enplanements

Table 4
Top 10 airports by scheduled domestic and international passenger enplanements

International Air Travel to and from the United States on U.S. and Foreign Airlines (Tables 5-8)

Table 5
Passengers
Flights
Revenue passenger-miles (RPMs)
Available seat-miles (ASMs)
Passenger load factor
Flight stage length
Passenger trip length

Table 6
International scheduled enplanements on U.S. airlines and foreign airlines serving the United States by month since January 2009.

Table 7
Top 10 airlines by scheduled international passenger enplanements

Table 8
Top 10 U.S. airports by scheduled international passenger enplanements

Reporting Notes

Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial U.S. and foreign air carriers detailing operations, passenger traffic and freight traffic. This release includes data received by BTS from 194 carriers as of March 28 for U.S. and foreign carrier scheduled civilian operations. Go to http://www.transtats.bts.gov/releaseinfo.asp for the complete list of reporting and non-reporting carriers. TranStats results for foreign carriers may differ from the press release until the next database update scheduled for April 24.

For additional passenger, flight, RPM, ASM, load factor and freight numbers, go to the BTS home page and use the links in the Airline Industry box. International totals and results for foreign carriers may differ from the press release until the next database update scheduled for April 15. These tables do not include U.S. carrier foreign point-to-point operations. For 2011, U.S. carriers reported 2,428,688 foreign point-to-point passengers.

To create a customized table for U.S. carrier passengers, flights, RPMs, ASMs and other data, including non-scheduled service, go to BTS 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 U.S. carrier system passengers, RPMs and ASMs by carrier through December, 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 December and international numbers through September 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. Complete international data will be released on June 21.

TranStats system and international totals do not include U.S. carriers foreign point-to-point flights.

Table 1: Scheduled Domestic and International Airline Travel on U.S. and Foreign Airlines*

Excel | CSV

  Annual  
2010 2011 Change %
Passengers (in millions) 790.1 803.5 1.7
Flights (in thousands) 10,021.6 9,984.4 -0.4
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions) 1,071.2 1,105.5 3.2
Available Seat-Miles (in billions) 1,308.1 1,355.6 3.6
Load Factor** 81.9 81.6 -0.3
Flight Stage Length*** 825.4 847.5 2.7
Passenger Trip Length**** 1,355.7 1,375.8 1.5

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

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States. For U.S. carrier domestic and international service data for 2011, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release.

** 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 1A. Passengers on U.S. Carriers and on Foreign Carriers' U.S. Flights 2010-2011

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Excel | CSV

  2010 2011 Change %
U.S. Carrier      
Domestic 629.5 637.5 1.3
International 91.0 92.5 1.7
System 720.5 730.0 1.3
Foreign Carrier      
To and From U.S. 69.6 73.5 5.6
Total 790.1 803.5 1.7

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

Table 2. Scheduled Domestic and International Enplanements by Month on U.S. and Foreign Airlines*

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Excel | CSV

  2009 2010 2009-2010 Pct. Change 2011 2010-2011 Pct. Change
January 57.1 58.1 1.7 59.2 1.8
February 54.3 53.3 -1.7 54.8 2.7
March 66.2 68.0 2.6 69.3 2.0
April 65.1 65.1 0.1 66.6 2.3
May 64.9 67.4 3.8 70.1 4.0
June 69.3 71.3 2.9 72.6 1.9
July 74.7 75.4 1.0 77.0 2.1
August 71.7 72.9 1.8 73.2 0.4
September 60.1 63.1 5.0 64.3 2.0
October 64.4 67.9 5.5 67.5 -0.7
November 59.9 63.3 5.6 63.8 0.8
December 62.7 64.2 2.4 65.1 1.3
Yr. Total 770.4 790.1 2.6 803.5 1.7

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States. For U.S. carrier domestic and international service data for 2011, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release.

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 3. Top 10 Airlines, ranked by January-December 2011 Scheduled Domestic and International Enplanements*

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Excel | CSV

2011 Rank Airline 2011 Enplaned Passengers 2010 Rank 2010 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2010-2011
1 Delta 113.485 1 110.925 2.3
2 Southwest 110.587 2 106.228 4.1
3 American 86.042 3 86.129 -0.1
4 US Airways 52.921 5 51.814 2.1
5 United 50.474 4 54.080 -6.7
6 Continental 45.138 6 43.479 3.8
7 JetBlue 26.353 9 24.199 8.9
8 AirTran 24.596 7 24.558 0.2
9 SkyWest 23.663 8 24.218 -2.3
10 Alaska 17.781 10 16.478 7.9

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States. For U.S. carrier domestic and international service data for 2011, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release.

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 4. Top 10 Airports ranked by January-December 2011 Scheduled Domestic and International Enplanements on U.S. and Foreign Airlines*

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Excel | CSV

2011 Rank Airport 2011 Enplaned Passengers 2009 Rank 2010 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2010-2011
1 Atlanta 44.247 1 42.985 2.9
2 Chicago O'Hare 31.780 2 32.146 -1.1
3 Los Angeles 30.445 3 28.828 5.6
4 Dallas/Ft. Worth 27.423 4 27.023 1.5
5 Denver 25.507 5 25.224 1.1
6 New York JFK 23.584 6 22.892 3.0
7 San Francisco 19.945 8 19.339 3.1
8 Phoenix 19.719 9 18.877 4.5
9 Las Vegas 19.643 10 18.829 4.3
10 Houston Bush 19.262 7 19.488 -1.2

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States. For U.S. carrier domestic and international service data for 2011, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release.

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 5. International Scheduled Airline Travel on U.S. and Foreign Airlines*

Excel | CSV

  Annual
2010 2010 % of Total 2011 2011 % of Total 2010-2011 Change %
Passengers (in millions)          
U.S. Carriers 91.0 56.7 92.5 55.7 1.7
Foreign Carriers 69.6 43.3 73.6 44.3 5.7
Flights (in thousands)          
U.S. Carriers 822.1 62.3 830.6 62.0 1.0
Foreign Carriers 498.0 37.7 508.7 38.0 2.1
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions)          
U.S. Carriers 245.2 47.5 250.7 46.3 2.2
Foreign Carriers 271.4 52.5 290.2 53.7 6.9
Available Seat-Miles (in billions)          
U.S. Carriers 300.1 47.4 312.6 46.4 4.1
Foreign Carriers 333.2 52.6 361.6 53.6 8.5
Load Factor**          
U.S. Carriers 81.7   80.2   -1.5
Foreign Carriers 81.5   80.2   -1.3
Flight Stage Length*** 2,128.4   2,210.0   3.8
Passenger Trip Length**** 3,216.8   3,256.8   1.2

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

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States. For U.S. carrier international service data for 2011, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release.

** 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. International Scheduled Enplanements by Month on U.S. and Foreign Airlines*

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Excel | CSV

  2009 2010 2009-2010 Pct. Change 2011 2010-2011 Pct. Change
January 12.3 12.6 2.6 12.9 2.2
February 10.6 10.9 3.1 11.1 2.2
March 12.7 13.5 6.5 13.7 0.9
April 12.8 12.6 -1.6 13.7 8.7
May 12.0 13.6 13.3 14.1 3.9
June 13.4 14.6 9.0 15.0 2.7
July 15.2 16.3 7.1 16.8 3.5
August 15.1 15.5 3.1 16.0 2.6
September 11.9 12.8 7.7 13.4 4.7
October 12.1 13.1 8.0 13.4 2.0
November 11.3 11.9 4.8 12.3 3.7
December 12.9 13.1 1.8 13.7 4.2
Yr. Total 152.3 160.6 5.4 166.1 3.4

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

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States. For U.S. carrier international service data for 2011, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release.

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 7. Top 10 Airlines, ranked by January-December 2011 International Scheduled Enplanements*

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

Excel | CSV

2011 Rank Airline 2011 Enplaned Passengers 2009 Rank 2010 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2010-2011
1 American 20,808.7 2 20,417.2 1.9
2 Delta 20,774.2 1 20,973.6 -1.0
3 Continental 13,958.4 3 12,872.5 8.4
4 United 10,945.0 4 10,773.2 1.6
5 US Airways 6,749.9 5 6,673.3 1.1
6 British Airways 6,122.3 6 5,324.5 15.0
7 Air Canada 5,678.9 7 5,285.6 7.4
8 Lufthansa 5,172.9 8 4,896.5 5.6
9 Air France 3,640.7 9 3,475.4 4.8
10 JetBlue 3,428.9 11 3,069.4 11.7

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

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States. For U.S. carrier international service data for 2011, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release.

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 8. Top 10 Airports ranked by January-December 2011 International Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. and Foreign Airlines*

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

Excel | CSV

2011 Rank Airport 2011 Enplaned Passengers 2010 Rank 2010 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2010-2011
1 New York JFK 11,704.7 1 11,344.7 3.2
2 Miami 8,821.9 2 8,114.3 8.7
3 Los Angeles 8,065.2 3 7,664.1 5.2
4 Newark 5,710.0 4 5,675.8 0.6
5 Chicago O'Hare 5,144.8 5 5,151.9 -0.1
6 Atlanta 4,675.5 6 4,508.9 3.7
7 San Francisco 4,316.0 7 4,189.3 3.0
8 Houston Bush 4,198.4 8 4,154.6 1.1
9 Washington Dulles 3,117.7 9 2,992.0 4.2
10 Dallas/Ft. Worth 2,603.0 10 2,522.3 3.2

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

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States. For U.S. carrier international service data for 2011, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release.

Note: Percent changes based on numbers prior to rounding.