BTS collects annual data on the inventory of the aircraft fleets of U.S. large certificated air carriers. An example of one list derived from these data is Table 3-1-1: Average Age of U.S. Commercial Aircraft. BTS also collects data showing U.S. airline on-time performance over time.
U.S. airline on-time performance in 2007, as reported to BTS, dipped to the lowest level since 2000. Although annual data are currently unavailable, on-time performance improved in 2008 through October (Table 3-1-2: Major U.S. Air Carrier On-Time Performance).
Since June of 2003, BTS has collected U.S. airline delay information by cause of delay (Table 3-1-3: Airline Delays by Cause). Note that the relatively small percentage of Extreme Weather delays are due to actual or forecasted severe meteorological conditions, such as a blizzard, hurricane, or tornado—delays caused by less severe weather conditions are attributed to the National Aviation System. The late arrival of inbound aircraft from a previous flight has been the leading cause of late flights for the last 3 years.
Since 2005, airline fares have generally been rising. Airline fares in 2006 surpassed the former high of 2000-2001. Airline fares rose to an all-time high in 2008 (Table 3-1-5: Comparison of Air Travel Price Indexes).
Enplaned passengers at U.S. airports steadily grew each year from 1995 until 2001. The events of 9/11 combined with the recession of 2001 caused a drop in passengers. The data show that enplanements did not surpass the year 2000 until 4 years later in 2004. Enplanements continued to rise through 2007 (Table 3-1-4: Domestic Enplanements at U.S. Airports).