U.S. Airline Passenger Traffic Increases 2.9 Percent

The U.S. Department of Transportation reported in a press release that U.S. airlines carried 50.1 million scheduled domestic and international passengers in February 2011. That marks a 2.9 percent increase from February 2010. The February 2011 passenger total was also 0.6 percent above that of two years ago in February 2009.

Across the Airline Industry, U.S. airline passenger numbers began increasing in early 2010 after declines that began in April 2008. From February 2008, two months before the first decline from the same month of the previous year, to February 2010, at the start of the upturn, the number of passengers carried by U.S. airlines declined 14.7 percent. From March 2010 to February 2011, passenger numbers on U.S. airlines increased 2.8 percent over the same period one year earlier.

U.S. airline domestic passenger numbers also showed the same pattern as the industry numbers, but declined more sharply and have recovered more slowly. From February 2008 to February 2010, the number of domestic passengers carried by U.S. airlines declined 15.4 percent. From March 2010 to February 2011, domestic passenger numbers on U.S. airlines increased 2.3 percent over the same period one year earlier.

In February, Southwest Airlines carried more total system and domestic passengers than any other U.S. airline. American Airlines carried the most international passengers. Southwest Airlines said Friday that its passenger traffic grew 8.7 percent in April as the Dallas-based carrier upped its capacity by 7.5 percent.

US Airways Mainline revenue passenger miles (RPMs) for April 2011 stood at 4.9 billion, up 4.3% versus April 2010. Mainline capacity is 6.0 billion available seat miles (ASMs) in April 2011, up 4.4% versus April 2010. The company president, Scott Kirby, said, ‘Our April consolidated (mainline and Express) passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased approximately 6 percent versus the same period last year. Our 32,000 team members continue to deliver an outstanding customer experience. Thanks to their efforts, US Airways consistently ranks among the top of the hub-and-spoke carriers for operational performance.