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January 2012 Airline System Traffic Up 1.1 Percent from January 2011

January 2012 Airline System Traffic Up 1.1 Percent from January 2011

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Dave Smallen
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012 - The U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today that U.S. airlines carried 54.3 million scheduled domestic and international passengers in January 2012, 1.3 percent more domestic passengers and 0.4 percent fewer international passengers than in January 2011. These changes resulted in a systemwide increase of 1.1 percent in passengers from January 2011 (Tables 1, 5, 9). The January 2012 passenger total was 3.3 percent above that of two years ago in January 2010 (Table 2).

BTS, a part of DOTs Research and Innovative Technology Administration, also reported in a release of preliminary data that the system load factor of 77.6 percent and the domestic load factor of 78.1 percent were record highs for the month of January (Tables 1, 5).

Passenger Load Factor on All U.S. Scheduled Airlines (Domestic & International), February 2011-January 2012

Table Version | Excel | CSV

Passenger Load Factor on All U.S. Scheduled Airlines (Domestic and International), February 2011-January 2012

See Tables 2, 8 and 14 of Air Traffic Press Releases for previous year numbers. Additional traffic numbers can be found on the BTS website in the Airlines and Airports box. Click on a link in the column on the right.

Load Factor and Capacity

January continued the trend of 2011 when the domestic load factor was at an all-time high while the international load factor declined from the all-time high in 2010 and the system load factor equaled the previous record set in 2010 (Tables 1, 5, 9). Domestic capacity, measured by available seat-miles, decreased 0.7 percent in January 2012 compared to January 2011, while revenue passenger miles (RPMs) increased by 1.2 percent, resulting in the record domestic load factor (Table 5). The international load factor in January increased as airlines decreased capacity by 1.1 percent while RPMs declined by a smaller 0.7 percent (Table 9). Systemwide capacity was down 0.8 percent compared to a 0.6 percent increase in RPMs (Table 1). See Tables 1, 7 and 13 of Air Traffic Press Releases for previous year numbers.

Top Airlines

Monthly: In January, Southwest Airlines carried more total system and domestic passengers than any other U.S. airline (Tables 3, 7). United Airlines, following its merger with Continental Airlines, carried the most international passengers (Table 11). The top 10 US airlines carried 79.7 percent of systemwide passengers, an increase from the 71.9 percent in January 2011.

United and Continental now report jointly as United.  Numbers reported as United in this release for previous years do not include Continentals numbers.  See the notes for system, domestic and international airline ranking tables 3, 7 and 11 for 2011 passenger numbers previously reported for America West.

ExpressJet Airlines and Atlantic Southeast Airlines now report jointly as ExpressJet.  Numbers reported as ExpressJet in this release for previous years do not include Atlantic Southeasts numbers.  See the notes for system, domestic and international airline ranking tables 3, 7 and 11 for 2011 passenger numbers previously reported for Atlantic Southeast.

Top Airports

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

For other year-to-date and monthly comparisons, see the following tables:

System (Domestic + International) (Tables 1-4)

Table 1 (January and January through December 2010 and 2011):
Passengers
Flights
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 2010

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

Scheduled Domestic Air Travel (Tables 5-8)

Table 5 (January and January through December 2010 and 2011):
Domestic passengers
Domestic flights
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 2010

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

Scheduled International Air Travel on U.S. Airlines (Tables 9-12)

Table 9 (January and January through December 2010 and 2011):
International passengers
International flights
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 2010

Airline Rankings

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 78 carriers as of April 17 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, 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. 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 205,688 foreign point-to-point passengers.

Data are subject to revision. BTS has scheduled May 23 for the release of February 2012 traffic data.

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

Excel | CSV

  Monthly Previous Calendar Years
Jan 2011 Jan 2012 Change % 2010 2011 Change %
Passengers (in millions) 53.7 54.3 1.1 720.5 730.0 1.3
Flights (in thousands) 751.4 744.0 -1.0 9,521.2 9,473.9 -0.5
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions) 60.7 61.1 0.6 798.0 814.3 2.0
Available Seat-Miles (in billions) 79.3 78.7 -0.8 972.6 992.7 2.1
Load Factor* 76.5 77.6 1.1 82.0 82.0 0.0
Flight Stage Length** 745.4 750.4 0.7 729.1 743.2 1.9
Passenger Trip Length*** 1,130.9 1,125.4 -0.5 1,107.6 1,115.5 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. Airlines

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Excel | CSV

  2010 2011 2010-2011 Pct. Change 2012 2011-2012 Pct. Change
January 52.6 53.7 2.2 54.3 1.1
February 48.7 50.1 2.9    
March 62.2 63.6 2.2    
April 59.6 60.5 1.5    
May 61.5 63.9 3.9    
June 65.0 66.1 1.7    
July 68.4 69.8 2.0    
August 66.3 66.2 -0.1    
September 57.4 58.0 1.2    
October 62.1 61.2 -1.5    
November 58.2 58.1 -0.1    
December 58.6 58.9 0.5    
Yr. Total 720.5 730.0 1.3    

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 2012 System* Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Excel | CSV

Jan 2012 Rank Carrier Jan 2012 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2011 Rank Jan 2011 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2011-2012
1 Southwest 8.170 1 8.307 -1.7
2 Delta 8.084 2 7.955 1.6
3 United** 6.960 5 3.873 79.7
4 American 6.770 3 6.706 1.0
5 US Airways 4.291 4 4.028 6.5
6 ExpressJet*** 2.230 12 0.986 126.2
7 JetBlue 2.163 7 1.913 13.1
8 SkyWest 1.702 8 1.841 -7.5
9 AirTran 1.603 9 1.679 -4.5
10 Alaska 1.351 10 1.313 2.9

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

* System equals domestic plus international

** United's 2012 number is the report of the merged United and Continental. The 2011 numbers were reported separately by United and Continental. Continental reported 3.453 million system passengers in January 2011.

*** ExpressJet's 2012 number is the report of the merged ExpressJet and Atlantic Southeast. The 2011 numbers were reported separately by ExpressJet and Atlantic Southeast. Atlantic Southeast reported .985 million system passengers in January 2011.

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 2012 System* Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Airlines**

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Excel | CSV

Jan 2012 Rank Airport Jan 2012 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2011 Rank Jan 2011 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2011-2012
1 Atlanta 3.193 1 2.981 7.1
2 Chicago O'Hare 2.065 3 2.010 2.7
3 Dallas/Fort Worth 2.032 2 2.024 0.4
4 Los Angeles 1.850 5 1.756 5.3
5 Denver 1.849 4 1.866 -0.9
6 Phoenix 1.523 6 1.545 -1.4
7 Charlotte 1.521 9 1.415 7.5
8 Las Vegas 1.427 7 1.436 -0.7
9 Houston Bush 1.401 8 1.429 -2.0
10 Miami 1.364 11 1.265 7.8

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 2011 Jan 2012 Change % 2010 2011 Change %
Passengers (in millions) 46.3 46.9 1.3 629.5 637.5 1.3
Flights (in thousands) 681.2 674.3 -1.0 8,699.1 8,644.2 -0.6
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions) 41.2 41.7 1.2 552.8 563.6 2.0
Available Seat-Miles (in billions) 53.8 53.4 -0.7 672.5 680.1 1.1
Load Factor* 76.6 78.1 1.5 82.2 82.9 0.7
Flight Stage Length** 635.9 640.6 0.8 627.1 636.0 1.4
Passenger Trip Length*** 889.5 888.3 -0.1 878.2 884.2 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

  2010 2011 2010-2011 Pct. Change 2012 2011-2012 Pct. Change
January 45.5 46.3 1.8 46.9 1.3
February 42.4 43.7 2.9    
March 54.4 55.6 2.2    
April 52.5 52.9 0.7    
May 53.8 56.0 4.0    
June 56.7 57.6 1.7    
July 59.1 60.2 1.8    
August 57.4 57.3 -0.2    
September 50.3 51.0 1.3    
October 54.8 54.1 -1.3    
November 51.4 51.5 0.2    
December 51.1 51.4 0.6    
Yr. Total 629.5 637.5 1.3    

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 2012 Domestic Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Excel | CSV

Jan 2012 Rank Carrier Jan 2012 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2011 Rank Jan 2011 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2011-2012
1 Southwest 8.170 1 8.307 -1.7
2 Delta 6.545 2 6.354 3.0
3 American 4.997 3 4.984 0.3
4 United* 4.984 5 3.012 65.5
5 US Airways 3.791 4 3.501 8.3
6 ExpressJet** 2.039 12 0.965 111.2
7 JetBlue 1.864 8 1.667 11.8
8 SkyWest 1.611 7 1.716 -6.1
9 AirTran 1.517 9 1.635 -7.2
10 American Eagle 1.230 11 1.141 7.8

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

* United's 2012 number is the report of the merged United and Continental. The 2011 numbers were reported separately by United and Continental. Continental reported 2.274 million domestic passengers in January 2011.

** ExpressJet's 2012 number is the report of the merged ExpressJet and Atlantic Southeast. The 2011 numbers were reported separately by ExpressJet and Atlantic Southeast. Atlantic Southeast reported .965 million domestic passengers in January 2011.

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 2012 Domestic Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Excel | CSV

Jan 2012 Rank Airport Jan 2012 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2011 Rank Jan 2011 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2011-2012
1 Atlanta 2.886 1 2.678 7.8
2 Chicago O'Hare 1.856 4 1.776 4.5
3 Dallas/Fort Worth 1.854 2 1.844 0.5
4 Denver 1.800 3 1.808 -0.4
5 Los Angeles 1.693 5 1.610 5.2
6 Phoenix 1.455 6 1.474 -1.3
7 Charlotte 1.427 8 1.315 8.6
8 Las Vegas 1.425 7 1.435 -0.7
9 Orlando 1.248 9 1.278 -2.3
10 San Francisco 1.166 11 1.077 8.2

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

Excel | CSV

  Monthly Previous Calendar Years
Jan 2011 Jan 2012 Change % 2010 2011 Change %
Passengers (millions) 7.4 7.4 -0.4 91.0 92.5 1.7
Flights (thousands) 70.3 69.7 -0.8 822.1 830.9 1.1
Revenue Passenger Miles (billions) 19.5 19.4 -0.7 245.2 250.7 2.2
Available Seat-Miles (billions) 25.5 25.3 -1.1 300.1 312.6 4.1
Load Factor* 76.5 76.7 0.2 81.7 80.2 -1.5
Flight Stage Length** 1,807.6 1,812.4 0.3 1,808.2 1,857.4 2.7
Passenger Trip Length*** 2,644.7 2,636.8 -0.3 2,695.6 2,709.3 0.5

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

  2010 2011 2010-2011 Pct. Change 2012 2011-2012 Pct. Change
January 7.0 7.4 4.8 7.4 -0.4
February 6.2 6.4 2.9    
March 7.8 7.9 1.7    
April 7.2 7.7 7.1    
May 7.6 7.9 3.2    
June 8.3 8.5 1.7    
July 9.3 9.6 3.3    
August 8.9 8.9 0.1    
September 7.0 7.1 0.5    
October 7.3 7.1 -3.0    
November 6.7 6.6 -1.9    
December 7.5 7.5 0.3    
Yr. Total 91.0 92.5 1.7    

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 2012 International Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

Excel | CSV

Jan 2012 Rank Carrier Jan 2012 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2011 Rank Jan 2011 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2011-2012
1 United* 1,975.7 4 860.4 129.6
2 American 1,773.0 1 1,722.4 2.9
3 Delta 1,539.5 2 1,601.1 -3.8
4 US Airways 500.1 5 526.8 -5.1
5 JetBlue 299.7 6 246.5 21.6
6 ExpressJet** 191.4 24 20.5 834.9
7 Alaska 163.5 7 155.6 5.0
8 Spirit 105.0 9 116.9 -10.2
9 American Eagle 92.2 11 85.7 7.6
10 SkyWest 91.6 8 124.3 -26.3

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

* United's 2012 number is the report of the merged United and Continental. The 2011 numbers were reported separately by United and Continental. Continental reported 1179.3 thousand international passengers in January 2011.

** ExpressJet's 2012 number is the report of the merged ExpressJet and Atlantic Southeast. The 2011 numbers were reported separately by ExpressJet and Atlantic Southeast. Atlantic Southeast reported 20.5 thousand international passengers in January 2011.

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 2012 International Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Airlines*

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

Excel | CSV

Jan 2012 Rank Airport Jan 2012 Enplaned Passengers Jan 2011 Rank Jan 2011 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2011-2012
1 Miami 504.5 1 463.8 8.8
2 New York JFK 327.8 2 329.2 -0.4
3 Atlanta 307.0 3 302.6 1.5
4 Newark 296.2 4 299.4 -1.1
5 Houston Bush 271.2 5 288.2 -5.9
6 Chicago O'Hare 208.6 6 233.4 -10.6
7 Dallas/Fort Worth 178.4 7 179.4 -0.5
8 Los Angeles 156.7 8 146.8 6.7
9 San Francisco 125.6 10 118.4 6.0
10 Washington Dulles 112.0 9 119.0 -5.9

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