2018 Traffic Data for U.S Airlines and Foreign Airlines U.S. Flights

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2018 Traffic Data for U.S Airlines and Foreign Airlines U.S. Flights

U.S. airlines and foreign airlines serving the U.S. carried an all-time high of 1.0 billion systemwide (domestic and international) scheduled service passengers in 2018, 4.8 percent more than the previous record high of 965.4 million reached in 2017.

The year-over-year systemwide increase resulted from a 4.9 percent rise in the number of passengers on domestic flights (777.9 million passengers in 2018) and 4.4 percent growth in passengers on U.S. and foreign airlines’ flights to and from the U.S. (233.6 million passengers in 2018) (Tables 1, 1A, 5, 9). Systemwide passengers include those on scheduled domestic flights plus those on scheduled flights to and from the United States.

Infographic - 2018 Traffic Data for U.S Airlines and Foreign Airlines U.S. Flights

Annual Passengers on All U.S. Scheduled Airline Flights (Domestic & International) and Foreign Airline Flights to and from the United States, 2003-2018 Passengers in millionsSource: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market (All Carriers)

SOURCE for Recession Dates: National Bureau of Economic Research, US Business Cycle Expansions and Contractions

U.S. airlines carried 4.9 percent more passengers on domestic flights and 3.1 percent more passengers on international flights in 2018 than in 2017 for a systemwide increase of 4.7 percent. Foreign airlines carried 5.6 percent more passengers to and from the U.S. than in 2017. The 233.6 million passengers on international flights to and from the U.S. was a record high, exceeding the previous high set in 2017 (Tables 1A, 1B, 5, 9).

This annual release includes preliminary data on U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service, including from one foreign point to another foreign point, and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the U.S. BTS monthly air traffic releases include data on U.S. carrier scheduled service only.

Airlines with Most Passengers in 2018 Southwest Airlines carried more total system passengers in 2018 than any other U.S. airline. American Airlines carried more passengers on international flights to and from the U.S. in 2018 than any other U.S. or foreign carrier. British Airways carried the most passengers on flights to and from the U.S. of any foreign airline (Tables 3, 7, 11). U.S. Airports with Most Passengers in 2018 More total system passengers boarded planes in 2018 at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International than at any other U.S. airport. More passengers boarded international flights at New York John F. Kennedy than at any other U.S. airport (Tables 4, 8, 12). Load Factor and CapacityFrom 2017 to 2018, systemwide demand, measured in Revenue Passenger-Miles, (RPMs) grew by 5.2 percent while capacity, measured in Available Seat-Miles (ASMs), grew by 4.6 percent. As a result, load factor, which measures the use of capacity, rose 0.5 points from 82.5 to 83.0 (Table 1). 

Domestic load factor fell 0.1 points as demand, measured in RPMs, rose 5.4 percent, slightly less than the 5.5 percent growth in capacity measured in ASMs (Table 5).

Demand on international flights, measured in RPMs, rose 5.0 percent, more than the 3.7 percent growth in capacity measured in ASMs. The result was a 1.0 point rise in the international load factor to 81.7 from 80.6 in 2017 (Table 9).

For annual airline and airport statistics, the accompanying Tables 1 through 4 provide combined domestic and international travel statistics, Tables 5 through 8 provide domestic travel statistics and Tables 9 through 12 provide international travel statistics.

Reporting Notes Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial U.S. and foreign air carriers detailing operations, passenger traffic and freight traffic. This release includes data received by BTS from 215 carriers as of March 13 for U.S. and foreign carrier scheduled civilian operations.

Go to the complete list of reporting and non-reporting carriers. Figure 1 numbers begin with 2003, the first full year of data following a reporting change that went into effect in October 2002. U.S. carriers’ foreign point-to-point flights are included in system and international totals. To create a customized table for U.S. carrier passengers, flights, RPMs, ASMs and other data, including non-scheduled service, go to BTS Air Carrier Traffic Statistics.

For additional scheduled service numbers for U.S. and foreign airlines, by airline and by airport, see Passengers, Flights, Revenue Passenger-Miles, Available Seat-Miles and Load Factor.

Traffic numbers are available on the BTS website at TranStats. Click on “Aviation.” For U.S. carrier systemwide passengers, RPMs and ASMs by carrier through December, click on “Air Carrier Summary Data (Form 41 and 298C Summary Data),” and then click on “Schedule T-1.” Use crosstabs to find scheduled service.

For domestic numbers through December and international numbers through September by origin as well as by carrier, click on “Aviation,” then click on “Air Carrier Statistics (Form 41 Traffic).”  Click on “T-100 Market” for system passenger numbers, “T-100 Domestic Market” for domestic or “T-100 International Market” for international.  For flights, stage length and trip length, use the appropriate T-100 Segment database. Use crosstabs to find scheduled service.

Complete international data for the full year 2018 will be released on June 13.

None of the data are from samples so measures of statistical significance do not apply. Data in this press release are not seasonally adjusted.

Table 1. Scheduled Systemwide (Domestic and International) Airline Travel on U.S. and Foreign Airlines, 2017-2018

Annual
2017 2018 Change %
Passengers (in millions) 965.4 1,011.5 4.8
Flights (in thousands) 9,761.4 10,012.3 2.6
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions) 1,436.8 1,511.7 5.2
Available Seat-Miles (in billions) 1,742.4 1,822.0 4.6
Load Factor* 82.5 83.0 0.5
Flight Stage Length** 984.4 995.8 1.2
Passenger Trip Length*** 1,488.3 1,494.6 0.4

Notes: * Change in load factor points** The average non-stop distance flown per departure in miles*** The average distance flown per passenger in milesNote: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market and Segment

Table 1A. Annual Enplanements on U.S. Carriers and on Foreign Carriers’ U.S. Flights 2017-2018 Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

2017 2018 Change %
U.S. Carrier Domestic 741.7 777.9 4.9
International 107.7 111.1 3.1
System 849.4 889.0 4.7
Foreign Carrier To and From U.S. 116.0 122.5 5.6
Total 965.4 1,011.5 4.8

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

Table 1B. 2018 Passengers on U.S. and Foreign Airlines by Origin and Destination Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Destination
Domestic Foreign
Origin Domestic Domestic carriers 785.5 Domestic carriers 55.3
Foreign Carriers N/A Foreign Carriers 63.0
Foreign Domestic carriers 55.4 Domestic carriers 0.6
Foreign Carriers 62.5 Foreign Carriers* N/A

Notes: 

* Foreign carriers do not report to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics on flights without a U.S. origin or destination

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market (All Carriers)

Table 2. Monthly Systemwide (Domestic and International) Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. and Foreign Airlines, 2016-2018 Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

2016 2017 2016-2017 Pct. Change 2018 2017-2018 Pct. Change
January 69.1 71.7 3.7 73.7 2.8
February 65.6 65.8 0.3 69.8 6.0
March 79.1 81.9 3.6 86.3 5.4
April 75.6 79.9 5.6 83.6 4.7
May 80.7 83.4 3.3 87.9 5.5
June 84.3 87.5 3.8 92.3 5.5
July 87.7 91.3 4.2 96.1 5.2
August 84.3 88.7 5.3 93.0 4.8
September 75.9 74.6 -1.6 78.5 5.1
October 78.7 82.3 4.5 85.3 3.7
November 75.0 78.4 4.6 82.1 4.6
December 77.3 79.9 3.4 82.9 3.8
Yr. Total 933.1 965.4 3.5 1,011.5 4.8

Notes: 

Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

Table 3. Top 10 Airlines, ranked by 2018 System* Scheduled Enplanements Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

2018 Rank Carrier 2018 Enplaned Passengers 2017 Rank 2017 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2017-2018
1 Southwest 163.606 1 157.677 3.8
2 Delta 152.029 2 145.647 4.4
3 American 148.181 3 144.864 2.3
4 United 113.197 4 107.243 5.6
5 JetBlue 42.236 5 40.015 5.5
6 SkyWest 38.956 6 35.776 8.9
7 Alaska 33.503 7 26.067 28.5
8 Spirit 28.683 8 23.813 20.5
9 Frontier 19.433 10 16.800 15.7
10 Republic 18.640 9 16.932 10.1

Notes: * System equals domestic plus internationalPercentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

Table 4. Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by 2018 System* Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. and Foreign Airlines Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

2018 Rank Airport 2018 Enplaned Passengers 2017 Rank 2017 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2017-2018
1 Atlanta 51.844 1 50.243 3.2
2 Los Angeles 42.578 2 41.201 3.3
3 Chicago O’Hare 39.851 3 38.577 3.3
4 Dallas/Fort Worth 32.780 4 31.794 3.1
5 Denver 31.341 5 29.787 5.2
6 New York JFK 30.489 6 29.490 3.4
7 San Francisco 27.770 7 26.892 3.3
8 Seattle 23.977 9 22.604 6.1
9 Las Vegas 23.593 8 23.150 1.9
10 Orlando 23.155 11 21.542 7.5

Notes: * System equals domestic plus internationalPercentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

Table 5. Domestic Scheduled Airline Travel on U.S. Airlines, 2017-2018

Annual
2017 2018 Change %
Passengers (in millions) 741.7 777.9 4.9
Flights (in thousands) 8,177.6 8,391.4 2.6
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions) 684.2 721.2 5.4
Available Seat-Miles (in billions) 809.1 854.0 5.5
Load Factor* 84.6 84.5 -0.1
Flight Stage Length** 710.0 721.0 1.5
Passenger Trip Length*** 922.5 927.1 0.5

Notes: * Change in load factor points** The average non-stop distance flown per departure in miles*** The average distance flown per passenger in milesPercentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market and Segment

Table 6. Monthly Domestic Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Airlines, 2016-2018 Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

2016 2017 2016-2017 Pct. Change 2018 2017-2018 Pct. Change
January 52.5 54.1 3.1 55.8 3.2
February 51.1 51.1 -0.1 54.1 5.9
March 61.6 64.0 3.8 66.6 4.2
April 58.9 61.1 3.7 64.6 5.7
May 62.8 64.4 2.7 67.8 5.3
June 64.8 66.7 3.1 70.3 5.3
July 66.1 68.6 3.7 72.5 5.8
August 63.5 66.7 5.0 70.3 5.5
September 58.6 57.1 -2.5 60.5 5.8
October 61.7 64.6 4.7 67.1 3.8
November 59.3 61.9 4.5 64.6 4.4
December 59.2 61.4 3.7 63.6 3.7
Yr. Total 720.0 741.7 3.0 777.9 4.9

Notes: 

Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market

Table 7. Top 10 Airlines, ranked by 2018 Domestic Scheduled Enplanements Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

2018 Rank Carrier 2018 Enplaned Passengers 2017 Rank 2017 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2017-2018
1 Southwest 159.045 1 153.809 3.4
2 Delta 126.473 2 120.735 4.8
3 American 119.471 3 116.471 2.6
4 United 85.896 4 80.434 6.8
5 SkyWest 37.427 5 34.054 9.9
6 JetBlue 33.965 6 32.394 4.8
7 Alaska 31.493 7 24.063 30.9
8 Spirit 26.319 8 21.971 19.8
9 Frontier 18.669 9 15.970 16.9
10 Republic 17.594 10 15.787 11.4

Notes: 

Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market

Table 8. Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by 2018 Domestic Scheduled Enplanements Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

2018 Rank Airport 2018 Enplaned Passengers 2017 Rank 2017 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2017-2018
1 Atlanta 45.711 1 44.351 3.1
2 Chicago O’Hare 33.144 2 32.189 3.0
3 Los Angeles 30.008 3 29.142 3.0
4 Denver 29.883 4 28.503 4.8
5 Dallas/Fort Worth 28.641 5 27.730 3.3
6 Las Vegas 21.812 6 21.382 2.0
7 Seattle 21.381 10 20.132 6.2
8 San Francisco 20.995 8 20.437 2.7
9 Charlotte 20.715 7 20.493 1.1
10 Phoenix 20.580 9 20.144 2.2

Notes: 

Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market

Table 9. International Scheduled Airline Travel on U.S. and Foreign Airlines, 2017-2018

Annual
2017 2018 Change %
Passengers (in millions) 223.7 233.6 4.4
Flights (in thousands) 1,583.8 1,621.0 2.3
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions) 752.6 790.5 5.0
Available Seat-Miles (in billions) 933.3 968.0 3.7
Load Factor* 80.6 81.7 1.0
Flight Stage Length** 2,401.1 2,418.3 0.7
Passenger Trip Length*** 3,364.9 3,384.4 0.6

Notes: * Change in load factor points** The average non-stop distance flown per departure in miles*** The average distance flown per passenger in milesPercentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market and Segment

Table 10. Monthly International Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. and Foreign Airlines, 2016-2018 Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

2016 2017 2016-2017 Pct. Change 2018 2017-2018 Pct. Change
January 16.6 17.5 5.7 17.9 1.8
February 14.5 14.8 1.6 15.7 6.3
March 17.5 18.0 2.7 19.7 9.6
April 16.7 18.8 12.3 19.1 1.8
May 18.0 18.9 5.3 20.1 6.2
June 19.5 20.7 6.3 22.0 6.2
July 21.5 22.7 5.6 23.5 3.5
August 20.8 22.1 6.3 22.6 2.5
September 17.3 17.5 1.3 18.0 3.0
October 17.0 17.7 3.9 18.3 3.5
November 15.7 16.5 5.1 17.4 5.6
December 18.1 18.5 2.4 19.3 4.1
Yr. Total 213.1 223.7 4.9 233.6 4.4

Notes: 

Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market

Table 11. Top 10 Airlines, ranked by 2018 International Scheduled Enplanements Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

2018 Rank Carrier 2018 Enplaned Passengers 2017 Rank 2017 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2017-2018
1 American 28,710.0 1 28,392.1 1.1
2 United 27,301.0 2 26,808.3 1.8
3 Delta 25,555.9 3 24,911.9 2.6
4 JetBlue 8,270.7 4 7,621.0 8.5
5 British Air 6,803.4 5 7,072.6 -3.8
6 Lufthansa 6,114.4 6 5,940.5 2.9
7 Air Canada 5,239.1 8 4,908.8 6.7
8 WestJet 4,949.1 7 5,036.1 -1.7
9 Southwest 4,560.7 9 3,868.2 17.9
10 Virgin Atlantic 3,776.8 12 3,552.7 6.3

Notes: 

Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market

Table 12. Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by 2018 International Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. and Foreign Airlines Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

2018 Rank Airport 2018 Enplaned Passengers 2017 Rank 2017 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2017-2018
2018 Rank Airport 2018 Enplaned Passengers 2017 Rank 2017 Enplaned Passengers Pct. Change 2017-2018
1 New York JFK 16,459.9 1 16,058.6 2.5
2 Los Angeles 12,570.6 2 12,059.2 4.2
3 Miami 10,147.5 3 10,159.2 -0.1
4 Newark 6,849.6 6 6,263.6 9.4
5 San Francisco 6,775.3 4 6,455.1 5.0
6 Chicago O’Hare 6,707.4 5 6,387.9 5.0
7 Atlanta 6,133.5 7 5,891.7 4.1
8 Houston Bush 5,236.5 8 5,048.8 3.7
9 Fort Lauderdale 4,158.7 11 3,500.4 18.8
10 Dallas/Fort Worth 4,138.7 9 4,064.6 1.8

Notes: 

Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market