Continued Growth an Indicator of Improved Economy, Adapting Industry
WASHINGTON, April 21, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, reported that passenger revenue(1) rose 13 percent in March 2011 compared to the same month in 2010, marking the 15th consecutive month of revenue growth. The revenue data is based on a sample group of U.S. carriers(2).
"Higher levels of spending on air travel in March are a solid indicator of expanding economies in the United States and abroad. However, the revenue growth experienced in the first quarter has not been sufficient to keep pace with higher jet fuel costs, which have risen more than 30 percent from a year ago. The airline industry remains concerned about a possible slowdown in demand induced by rising energy prices across the economy," said ATA Vice President and Chief Economist John Heimlich.
Systemwide passenger traffic, as measured by miles flown by paying passengers(3) rose 1 percent while the average price to fly one mile, also known as yield, rose 12 percent for the month.
- U.S. domestic revenue grew 12.5 percent, fueled in large part by an 11.5 percent yield increase.
- Trans-Atlantic revenue grew 7 percent from a year ago, but represented the smallest increase of the four major regions tracked by ATA, largely due to a softer pricing environment.
- Trans-Pacific revenue rose by 14 percent despite a 10 percentage point drop in load factor. Routes to and within the Pacific region posted the largest yield increase (16 percent) of any region.
A sample of U.S. airlines(4) saw cargo revenue rise 22 percent year over year (up 7 percent domestically and 29 percent internationally) in March 2011.
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive more than $1 trillion in U.S. economic activity and nearly 11 million U.S. jobs. ATA airline members and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of all U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic. For more information about the airline industry, visit www.airlines.org and follow us on Twitter @airlinesassn.
(1) As defined by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, "revenues from the air transportation of passengers" in scheduled air service, not including amounts paid to change tickets, transport baggage or perform other types of ancillary services.
(2) Based on data reported to ATA by Alaska, American, Continental, Delta, JetBlue, United and US Airways, including data for Air Midwest, Air Wisconsin, Allegheny, American Eagle, Atlantic Coast, Atlantic Southeast, Chautauqua, Comair, Continental Express, Executive, Freedom, Horizon, Mesa, Mesaba, Piedmont, Pinnacle, PSA, Shuttle America, SkyWest and Trans States. Data for all reporting U.S. airlines is available on a time-lagged basis from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (www.bts.gov).
(3) Previously, ATA monthly press releases cited the number of passengers; to align more closely with the per-mile price statistics, ATA is now reporting traffic on a total mileage basis.
(4) Based on data reported to ATA by Alaska, American, Continental, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, United and US Airways. Data for all reporting U.S. airlines is available on a time-lagged basis from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (www.bts.gov).
SOURCE Air Transport Association