Airline Financial Data

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1st-Quarter 2012 Airline Financial Data: Largest Airlines Report Profit

Release Number: 
BTS 32-12

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BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that 10 the large airlines reported an operating profit margin as a group in each of the last four quarters, although the margin has declined in each of the last two quarters. As a group, they posted a profit of $228 million with losses reported by American Airlines, which filed for bankruptcy, United Airlines, which was in the process of merging with Continental Airlines, and AirTran Airways, which was in the process of merging with Southwest Airlines (Table 1). These 10 airlines carried 79.8 percent of U.S. airlines scheduled service passengers in the first quarter of 2012. See Airline Financial Data Press Releases for historic data.Friday, July 6, 2012 - The largest scheduled passenger airlines reported a 0.7 percent profit margin in the first quarter of 2012, up from the 0.5 percent loss in the first quarter of 2011, the U.S. Department of Transportations Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today in a release of preliminary data (Table 1).

As part of their first-quarter revenue, all U.S. passenger airlines collected $816 million in baggage fees and $631 million from reservation change fees from January through March 2012.

Baggage fees and reservation change fees are the only ancillary fees paid by passengers that are reported to BTS as separate items. Other fees, such as revenue from seating assignments and on-board sales of food, beverages, pillows, blankets, and entertainment are reported in a different category with other items and cannot be identified separately.

The press release includes these tables for the 10 top carriers: Table 2, Unit Costs; Table 3, Unit Revenues; Table 4, Passenger Revenue Yield.

Additional airline financial data can be found on the BTS website, including numbers for other individual low-cost and regional airlines reported on previous BTS quarterly financial press releases.  and  can be found on these .  numbers are available on these . See the BTS  for more detailed data.

Data are compiled from quarterly financial and monthly traffic reports filed with BTS by commercial air carriers. Financial and traffic data are preliminary and include data received by BTS as of June 28. Revised carrier data and late data filings will be made available monthly on TranStats on the Monday following the second Tuesday of the month. Data are subject to revision.

The data released today is missing reports from these scheduled passenger airlines: ExpressJet Airlines, which is in the process of filing updated data, and Comair, which has not yet filed its report.

TABLE 1: LARGE AIRLINE SYSTEM* QUARTERLY OPERATING PROFIT/LOSS MARGIN (IN PERCENT)

Ranked by 1Q 2012 System Passengers

(Operating Profit/(Loss) as Percent of Total Operating Revenue)

Excel | CSV

1Q 2012 Passenger RankAirline1Q 2011 (%)2Q 2011 (%)3Q 2011 (%)4Q 2011 (%)1Q 2012 (%)1st Quarter Operating
Profit/Loss $(Millions)
1Delta-1.06.98.89.74.6386
2Southwest3.75.45.84.00.929
3United**0.27.99.9-2.7-3.3-284
4American-4.8-1.90.2-13.4-1.7-102
5US Airways-1.05.05.13.31.756
6ExpressJet***-7.2-4.5-2.8-5.5N/AN/A
7JetBlue4.47.59.17.36.881
8SkyWest4.86.56.63.84.522
9AirTran-5.5-1.02.41.5-1.0-7
10Alaska4.811.918.46.94.345
 10-Carrier Total-0.55.36.81.40.7228

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedule P1.2

* System = domestic + international

** United Airlines and Continental Airlines began reporting jointly in 1Q 2012. Previous quarter numbers are for United only. For Continental financials through 4Q 2011, see BTS Airline Financials Data press releases.

*** ExpressJet Airlines and Atlantic Southeast Airlines began reporting jointly in 1Q 2012. Previous quarter numbers are for ExpressJet only. For Atlantic Southeast financials through 4Q 2011, see BTS Airline Financials Data press releases.

N/A: ExpressJet Airlines is in the process of filing updated data.

TABLE 2: LARGE AIRLINE SYSTEM* UNIT COSTS

Ranked by 1Q 2012 System Passengers

(Operating Expenses per Available Seat Mile in cents)

Excel | CSV

1Q 2012 Passenger RankAirline1Q 20112Q 20113Q 20114Q 20111Q 20121st Quarter Operating Expenses $(Millions)
1Delta16.216.416.316.017.18,044
2Southwest12.212.612.512.813.13,285
3United**16.516.716.618.416.98,888
4American15.315.915.918.116.26,133
5US Airways17.917.817.517.918.53,279
6ExpressJet***8.87.97.98.2N/AN/A
7JetBlue11.411.311.011.311.81,122
8SkyWest11.311.110.911.211.4473
9AirTran12.212.411.511.912.1684
10Alaska14.414.614.114.915.1992
 10-Carrier Total15.015.215.115.816.032,899

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedule P1.2. T100; T2 Data

* System = domestic + international

** United Airlines and Continental Airlines began reporting jointly in 1Q 2012. Previous quarter numbers are for United only. For Continental financials through 4Q 2011, see BTS Airline Financials Data press releases.

*** ExpressJet Airlines and Atlantic Southeast Airlines began reporting jointly in 1Q 2012. Previous quarter numbers are for ExpressJet only. For Atlantic Southeast financials through 4Q 2011, see BTS Airline Financials Data press releases.

N/A: ExpressJet Airlines is in the process of filing updated data.

TABLE 3: LARGE AIRLINE SYSTEM* UNIT REVENUE

Ranked by 1Q 2012 System Passengers

(Operating Revenue per Available Seat Mile in cents)

Excel | CSV

1Q 2012 Passenger RankAirline1Q 20112Q 20113Q 20114Q 20111Q 20121st Quarter Operating Revenue $(Millions)
1Delta16.217.617.917.718.08,430
2Southwest12.713.313.213.413.33,314
3United**16.518.218.517.916.48,604
4American14.615.616.016.015.96,031
5US Airways17.818.818.418.518.83,335
6ExpressJet***8.27.67.77.8N/AN/A
7JetBlue11.912.212.112.212.61,206
8SkyWest11.811.811.611.711.9495
9AirTran11.612.211.712.012.0677
10Alaska15.216.517.216.015.81,037
 10-Carrier Total14.916.116.216.016.133,127

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedule P1.2. T100; T2 Data

* System = domestic + international

** United Airlines and Continental Airlines began reporting jointly in 1Q 2012. Previous quarter numbers are for United only. For Continental financials through 4Q 2011, see BTS Airline Financials Data press releases.

*** ExpressJet Airlines and Atlantic Southeast Airlines began reporting jointly in 1Q 2012. Previous quarter numbers are for ExpressJet only. For Atlantic Southeast financials through 4Q 2011, see BTS Airline Financials Data press releases.

N/A: ExpressJet Airlines is in the process of filing updated data.

TABLE 4: LARGE AIRLINE SYSTEM* PASSENGER REVENUE YIELD

Ranked by 1Q 2012 System Passengers

(Passenger Revenue Per Revenue Passenger Mile)

Excel | CSV

1Q 2012 Passenger RankAirline1Q 20112Q 20113Q 20114Q 20111Q 20121st Quarter Passenger Revenue $(Millions)
1Delta13.814.114.114.314.75,548
2Southwest14.915.115.015.215.53,027
3United**13.814.314.614.214.55,966
4American14.013.914.214.515.24,557
5US Airways13.813.813.614.014.62,088
6ExpressJet***10.99.49.49.8N/AN/A
7JetBlue13.113.613.113.513.91,097
8SkyWest15.214.513.914.314.9484
9AirTran13.313.312.213.614.3595
10Alaska12.613.713.913.112.9726
 10-Carrier Total13.914.114.114.314.724,088

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedule P1.2. T100; T2 Data

* System = domestic + international

** United Airlines and Continental Airlines began reporting jointly in 1Q 2012. Previous quarter numbers are for United only. For Continental financials through 4Q 2011, see BTS Airline Financials Data press releases.

*** ExpressJet Airlines and Atlantic Southeast Airlines began reporting jointly in 1Q 2012. Previous quarter numbers are for ExpressJet only. For Atlantic Southeast financials through 4Q 2011, see BTS Airline Financials Data press releases.

N/A: ExpressJet Airlines is in the process of filing updated data.

Updated: Monday, November 27, 2017
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