U.S. Airlines Carried 61.5M Passengers in October; Southwest No.1; Top 10 are...

U.S. airlines carried 61.5 million domestic and international passengers in October 2006, a 2.6% increase from October 2005. Southwest Airlines, with 8.1 million passengers, topped the list for the third consecutive month, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today. 

The number of domestic passengers increased 2.2 percent in October from a year earlier and international passengers increased 6.4 percent 

  • U.S. airlines carried 623.4 million scheduled domestic and international passengers on their systems during the first 10 months of 2006, 0.5% jump from the same period in 2005.
  • U.S. carriers operated 8.8 million domestic and international flights during the first 10 months of 2006, 3.4% fewer than were operated during the same period in 2005.  Domestic flights were down 3.9% from the previous year while international flights were up 2.8%.
  • Among U.S. airlines, American Airlines carried 82.4 million passengers on its system from January to October, the most of any airline. 
  • Among airports, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International was the busiest U.S. airport from January to October, with 33.9 million domestic and international passenger boarding.  

U.S. airlines carried 550.8 million domestic passengers during the first 10 months of 2006, down 0.2% from the same period in 2005. By comparison, U.S. airlines carried 72.6 million international passengers during the first 10 months of 2006, up 5.7% from 2005. 

Top 10 U.S. Airlines, ranked by Jan.-October 2006 System Scheduled Enplanements
Jan-Oct 2006 Rank Carrier Jan-Oct 2006 Enplaned Passengers Jan-Oct  2005 Rank Jan-Oct 2005 Enplaned Passengers
1 American 82.4 1 82.0
2 Southwest 80.3 2 73.7
3 Delta 61.7 3 73.4
4 United 58.4 4 55.8
5 Northwest 45.9 5 48.0
6 Continental 39.0 7 35.5
7 US Airways 30.5 6 36.1
8 America West 17.8 8 18.5
9 AirTran 16.6 12 13.7
10 SkyWest 16.3 11 13.7
Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Other Airline performance metrics:

  • Revenue passenger miles (RPMs), a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 2.2 percent in the first 10 months.  In October, RPMs were up 3.7 percent.
  • Available seat-miles (ASMs), a measure of airline capacity using the number of seats and the distance flown, were unchanged in the first 10 months.  In October, ASMs were up 2.1 percent.
  • Passenger load factor, passenger miles as a proportion of available seat-miles, was up 1.7 load factor points to 79.6 percent in the first 10 months.  In October, load factor was up 1.2 load factor points to 77.3 percent.

Source: October 2006 Airline Traffic Data - U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS)

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