Airline Passenger Traffic Still on the Rise

Airlines in the US are reporting further increases in passenger traffic on their aircraft. With airlines already reporting record load factors along with climbing traffic, the airlines are flying into increasing profitability and increased growth.

For example, JetBlue Airways Corp. said Thursday that passenger traffic – measured in revenue passenger miles (RPMs) – rose 7.8 percent in June, nearly filling all the seats created through expansion. Traffic rose as passengers flew 3.13 billion miles last month, compared with 2.90 billion miles in June 2012 with a load factor – or percentage of seats filled by passengers – of 85.7%.

Southwest Airline’s passenger traffic was 9.85 billion for June, up 2.3% from 9.62 billion recorded a year ago. The load factor improved marginally to 85.0% from 84.4% in Jun 2012.

Alaska reported an 8.1% increase in traffic on an 8.6% increase in capacity compared to June 2012. This resulted in a 0.5 point decrease in load factor to 87.4%.

SkyWest reported that passenger boardings for June increased 2.9% to 5,441,225 compared to 5,289,995 for the same period last year. SkyWest also reported a 5.5% increase in revenue passenger miles for June, while available seat miles increased 5.2% compared to June 2012.