US Passenger Traffic and Profit Up in June From a Year Earlier

U.S. airlines carried 65 million passengers in June, the government said Thursday, 2.3 percent higher than the same month a year ago but still down from pre-recession levels.


Airlines

The profit margin for U.S. airlines reached its highest point on record for the second quarter, driven by higher passenger revenue and increasing ancillary fees, the Bureau of Transportation Statistic said Monday. Baggage fees, which make up the bulk of ancillary revenue, rose 33.4% from a year ago to $893 million.

Passenger yield, which reflects average airfare, rose to 13 cents per revenue mile from 11 cents in last year’s second quarter. Altogether, airlines’ profit margin expanded to 9% from 1.2% in the year-ago quarter, for an operating profit of $3.09 billion, the BTS said. The agency began collecting data in 2002.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics said U.S. airlines carried 1.4 percent more domestic passengers in June and 8.4 percent more international passengers than in June 2009. Planes were fuller than any other June on record.

For the first six months of 2010, the number of scheduled domestic and international passengers on U.S. airlines increased 1.2 percent from the same period in 2009, but declined 8 percent from the first six months of 2008.

Delta Air Lines Inc. carried more total passengers than any other U.S. airline. Southwest Airlines carried the most passengers domestically.

Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International retained its title as the busiest U.S. airport.