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December 2013 U.S. Airline Systemwide Passengers Up 6.1 Percent from December 2012

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s EmEdjimurjE (BTS) reported today that U.S. airlines carried 62.5 million systemwide (domestic + international) scheduled service passengers in December 2013, 6.1 percent more than in December 2012. The systemwide total was the result of a 6.2 percent increase in the number of domestic passengers (54.3 million) and a 5.9 percent increase in international passengers (8.2 million) (Tables 1, 7, 13).

Passengers on All U.S. Scheduled Airlines (Domestic & International),
December 2008-December 2013

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Passengers on All U.S. Scheduled Airlines (Domestic & International), December 2008-December 2013

SOURCE for recession dates: National Bureau of Economic Research,

For the full year 2013, U.S. airlines carried 0.9 percent more total systemwide passengers (743.1 million) than during the same period in 2012 (Table 2) for the highest annual total since 2008. Domestically, U.S. airlines carried 645.6 million passengers, up 0.5 percent from 2012 (Table 8). Internationally, they carried 97.5 million passengers, up 3.3 percent from 2012 (Table 14). See Tables 2, 8 and 14 of Air Traffic Press Releases for previous-year data.

The December 2013 systemwide load factor (84.4 percent), the domestic load factor (85.1) and the international load factor (82.9) were all record highs for the month of December as year-over-year growth in revenue passenger-miles (RPMs) grew faster than both domestic and international capacity expansion, measured by available seat-miles (ASMs) (Tables 1, 7, 13). Load factor is a measure of the use of aircraft capacity that compares RPMs as a proportion of ASMs.

The full year 2013 systemwide load factor (83.1 percent), the domestic load factor (83.5) and the international load factor (82.3) were all record annual highs as year-over-year RPM growth exceeded both domestic and international capacity expansion (Tables 1, 7, 13).

Additional traffic data can be found on the BTS Airlines and Airports page.  Click on a link in the Quick Links box on the right.  For more historical data, see on the BTS website.

Top Airlines

Monthly: In December, Southwest Airlines carried more systemwide and domestic passengers than any other U.S. airline (Tables 4, 10). United Airlines carried the most international passengers (Table 16). The top 10 U.S. airlines carried 80.7 percent of systemwide passengers, up from 80.3 percent carried by the U.S. airlines that were in the top 10 in December 2012.

Annual: During 2013, Delta carried more systemwide passengers than any other U.S. airline for the fourth consecutive year (Table 3). Southwest carried the most domestic passengers for the 10th consecutive year (Table 9) while United carried the most international passengers for the second consecutive year (Table 15). The top 10 U.S. airlines carried 80.4 percent of systemwide passengers, up from 80.0 percent carried by the U.S. airlines that were in the top 10 during 2012.

Top Airports           

Monthly: In December, more total systemwide and domestic passengers boarded planes at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International than at any other U.S. airport (Tables 6, 12); and more international passengers boarded U.S. carriers at Miami than at any other U.S. airport (Table 18).

Annual: During 2013, more total systemwide and domestic passengers boarded planes at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson than at any other U.S. airport (Tables 5 and 11); and more international passengers boarded U.S. carriers at Miami than at any other U.S. airport (Table 17).

Reporting Notes
Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial U.S. air carriers detailing operations, passenger traffic and freight traffic. This release includes data received by BTS from 75 carriers as of March 4 for U.S. carrier scheduled civilian operations.

Southwest and AirTran Airways are reporting as separate carriers with the exception of their financial reports.  They have one FAA SOC (single operating certificate), requiring that they utilize the same safety/operating procedures, but they have separate DOT 401 economic certificates, meaning they remain operating as separate economic entities.

Go to for the complete list of reporting and non-reporting carriers. U.S. carriers’ foreign point-to-point flights are included in system and international totals. To create a customized table for passengers, flights, RPMs, ASMs and other data, including non-scheduled service, go to

For additional scheduled service numbers for U.S. airlines, U.S. and foreign airlines, by airline and by airport, see , , , and .

Traffic numbers are available on the BTS website at TranStats, the Intermodal Transportation Database, at .  Click on “Aviation.”  For 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.

International totals in this press release consist of all U.S. carrier operations to and from the U.S. and from one foreign point to another foreign point. TranStats T-100 systemwide and international totals do not include U.S. carriers’ foreign point-to-point flights. For December, U.S. carriers reported 192,216 foreign point-to-point passengers. For January through December, U.S. carriers reported 2,309,413 foreign point-to-point passengers.

Data are subject to revision. BTS has scheduled April 10 for the release of January traffic data. None of the data are from samples so measures of statistical significance do not apply.

Table 1. Scheduled System (Domestic and International) Airline Travel on U.S. Airlines

 MonthlyAnnual
Dec 2012Dec 2013Change %20122013Change %
Passengers (in millions)58.962.56.1736.7743.10.9
Flights (in thousands)740.2729.9-1.49,287.49,158.7-1.4
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions)65.970.46.7823.2840.42.1
Available Seat-Miles (in billions)80.983.43.0994.51,011.21.7
Load Factor*81.584.43.082.883.10.3
Flight Stage Length**768.5791.83.0755.0770.32.0
Passenger Trip Length***1,119.81,126.30.61,117.41,131.01.2

Source: EmEdjimurjE, T-100 Market and Segment

* Change in load factor points

** The average non-stop distance flown per departure in miles

*** The average distance flown per passenger in miles

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 2. Total System (Domestic and International) Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Airlines

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

 201120122011-2012 Pct. Change20132012-2013 Pct. Change
January53.754.41.455.31.7
February50.153.16.052.5-1.2
March63.664.51.465.11.0
April60.561.51.661.0-0.8
May63.963.7-0.364.81.7
June66.266.60.667.10.7
July69.969.2-1.069.20.0
August66.367.82.267.70.0
September58.157.4-1.158.21.3
October61.260.9-0.462.12.0
November58.358.70.857.6-2.0
December59.158.9-0.362.56.1
Yr. Total730.8736.70.8743.10.9

Source: EmEdjimurjE, T-100 Market

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 3. Top 10 U.S. Airlines, ranked by January-December 2013 Scheduled Systemwide (Domestic and International) Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

2013 RankCarrier2013 Enplaned Passengers2012 Rank2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1Delta120.3891116.4453.4
2Southwest**115.3232112.2342.8
3United90.113392.367-2.4
4American86.823486.3350.6
5US Airways57.007554.2385.1
6ExpressJet32.957632.3761.8
7JetBlue30.428728.9345.2
8SkyWest27.139826.1633.7
9Alaska19.7001118.4956.5
10AirTran17.817921.745-18.1

Source: EmEdjimurjE, T-100 Market

* System equals domestic international

** The merged Southwest and AirTran are now reporting separately although operating under a single certificate.

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 4. Top 10 U.S. Airlines, ranked by December 2013 System* Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Dec 2013 RankCarrierDec 2013 Enplaned PassengersDec 2012 RankDec 2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1Southwest**10.24819.04013.4
2Delta9.86728.9809.9
3United7.54537.2244.4
4American7.33047.2061.7
5US Airways4.79554.3989.0
6JetBlue2.70472.4809.0
7ExpressJet2.67562.6032.8
8SkyWest2.22482.1682.6
9Alaska1.670101.5468.0
10American Eagle1.368111.477-7.4

Source: EmEdjimurjE, T-100 Market

* System equals domestic international

** The merged Southwest and AirTran are now reporting separately although operating under a single certificate.

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 5. Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by 2013 System* Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Airlines

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

2013 RankAirport2013 Enplaned Passengers2012 Rank2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1Atlanta44.641145.107-1.0
2Chicago O'Hare29.882229.8840.0
3Dallas/Fort Worth28.472327.5283.4
4Los Angeles25.838524.9523.6
5Denver25.158425.490-1.3
6Charlotte21.228619.9136.6
7Phoenix19.138719.203-0.3
8San Francisco18.843818.5561.5
9Las Vegas18.414918.3950.1
10Houston Bush17.9031018.116-1.2

Source: EmEdjimurjE, T-100 Market

* System equals domestic international

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 6. Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by December 2013 System* Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Airlines

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Dec 2013 RankAirportDec 2013 Enplaned PassengersDec 2012 RankDec 2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1Atlanta3.73613.5425.5
2Chicago O'Hare2.47032.3027.3
3Dallas/Fort Worth2.30422.311-0.3
4Los Angeles2.26852.02112.2
5Denver2.14042.0484.5
6Charlotte1.82761.64411.2
7Phoenix1.66271.5566.8
8San Francisco1.62591.4809.8
9Houston Bush1.59281.4976.3
10New York JFK1.487101.4264.3

Source: EmEdjimurjE, T-100 Market

* System equals domestic international

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 7. Domestic Scheduled Airline Travel on U.S. Airlines

 MonthlyAnnual
Dec 2012Dec 2013Change %20122013Change %
Passengers (in millions)51.254.36.2642.3645.60.5
Flights (in thousands)670.8659.5-1.78,444.88,311.9-1.6
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions)45.849.17.2568.7577.91.6
Available Seat-Miles (in billions)56.257.72.8682.0692.21.5
Load Factor*81.685.13.583.483.50.1
Flight Stage Length**662.9682.42.9646.6658.91.9
Passenger Trip Length***895.5904.41.0885.4895.11.1

Source: EmEdjimurjE, T-100 Domestic Market and Segment

* Change in load factor points

** The average non-stop distance flown per departure in miles

*** The average distance flown per passenger in miles

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 8. Domestic Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Airlines

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

 201120122011-2012 Pct. Change20132012-2013 Pct. Change
January46.347.11.747.81.6
February43.746.46.345.7-1.4
March55.656.21.056.60.6
April52.953.71.653.2-0.9
May56.055.7-0.456.61.4
June57.857.90.258.00.1
July60.359.7-1.059.3-0.6
August57.458.62.258.1-0.9
September51.050.1-1.750.81.3
October54.153.8-0.654.71.7
November51.751.80.450.5-2.5
December51.551.2-0.754.36.2
Yr. Total638.2642.30.6645.60.5

Source: EmEdjimurjE, T-100 Domestic Market

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 9. Top 10 U.S. Airlines, ranked by 2013 Domestic Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

2013 RankCarrier2013 Enplaned Passengers2012 Rank2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1Southwest**115.3231112.2342.8
2Delta98.372295.4393.1
3United65.113367.534-3.6
4American65.052465.0100.1
5US Airways49.999547.4435.4
6ExpressJet29.890629.6520.8
7JetBlue25.838724.8713.9
8SkyWest25.529824.8692.7
9Alaska17.8671116.7476.7
10AirTran16.136920.443-21.1

Source: EmEdjimurjE, T-100 Domestic Market

** The merged Southwest and AirTran are now reporting separately although operating under a single certificate.

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 10. Top 10 U.S. Airlines, ranked by December 2013 Domestic Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Dec 2013 RankCarrierDec 2013 Enplaned PassengersDec 2012 RankDec 2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1Southwest**10.24819.04013.4
2Delta8.08927.32810.4
3United5.50545.2474.9
4American5.37935.3770.0
5US Airways4.26953.8879.8
6ExpressJet2.41062.3691.8
7JetBlue2.25372.1246.1
8SkyWest2.09182.0631.4
9Alaska1.501101.3858.4
10American Eagle1.237111.327-6.7

Source: EmEdjimurjE, T-100 Domestic Market

** The merged Southwest and AirTran are now reporting separately although operating under a single certificate.

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 11. Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by 2013 Domestic Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

2013 RankAirport2013 Enplaned Passengers2012 Rank2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1Atlanta40.329140.937-1.5
2Chicago O'Hare26.951227.008-0.2
3Dallas/Fort Worth25.806325.1032.8
4Denver24.503424.906-1.6
5Los Angeles23.819523.0203.5
6Charlotte19.826618.5686.8
7Phoenix18.410718.439-0.2
8Las Vegas18.401818.3810.1
9San Francisco16.965916.7371.4
10Minneapolis15.1141114.8351.9

Source: EmEdjimurjE, T-100 Domestic Market

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 12. Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by December 2013 Domestic Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Dec 2013 RankAirportDec 2013 Enplaned PassengersDec 2012 RankDec 2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1Atlanta3.35213.1855.2
2Chicago O'Hare2.23332.0767.5
3Los Angeles2.08451.85212.5
4Denver2.08041.9964.2
5Dallas/Fort Worth2.06522.090-1.2
6Charlotte1.72061.54111.6
7Phoenix1.58871.4837.1
8San Francisco1.47291.33110.6
9Las Vegas1.43481.3883.3
10Houston Bush1.276111.1966.8

Source: EmEdjimurjE, T-100 Domestic Market

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 13. International Scheduled Airline Travel on U.S. Airlines

 MonthlyAnnual
Dec 2012Dec 2013Change %20122013Change %
Passengers (in millions)7.78.25.994.497.53.3
Flights (in thousands)69.470.41.5842.6846.80.5
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions)20.121.25.6254.5262.53.2
Available Seat-Miles (in billions)24.825.63.5312.5318.92.1
Load Factor*81.282.91.781.482.30.9
Flight Stage Length**1,788.51,816.41.61,841.31,864.11.2
Passenger Trip Length***2,608.92,603.3-0.22,695.72,693.1-0.1

Source: EmEdjimurjE, T-100 International Market and Segment

* Change in load factor points

** The average non-stop distance flown per departure in miles

*** The average distance flown per passenger in miles

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 14. International Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Airlines

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

 201120122011-2012 Pct. Change20132012-2013 Pct. Change
January7.47.4-0.37.52.3
February6.46.74.46.80.8
March7.98.34.28.53.3
April7.77.81.77.8-0.6
May7.97.90.78.23.7
June8.58.72.89.14.3
July9.69.5-1.09.94.3
August8.99.12.49.65.5
September7.17.32.87.41.9
October7.17.21.07.54.2
November6.66.94.37.12.3
December7.57.72.38.25.9
Yr. Total92.594.42.097.53.3

Source: EmEdjimurjE, T-100 International Market

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 15. Top 10 U.S. Airlines, ranked by 2013 International Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

2013 RankCarrier2013 Enplaned Passengers2012 Rank2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1United24,999.4124,833.70.7
2Delta22,016.9321,006.44.8
3American21,770.3221,325.52.1
4US Airways7,008.146,795.53.1
5JetBlue4,589.154,063.712.9
6ExpressJet3,066.662,724.112.6
7Alaska1,832.871,747.24.9
8American Eagle1,689.881,347.925.4
9AirTran1,681.991,301.329.2
10SkyWest1,610.0101,293.824.4

Source: EmEdjimurjE, T-100 International Market

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 16. Top 10 U.S. Airlines, ranked by December 2013 International Scheduled Enplanements

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

Dec 2013 RankCarrierDec 2013 Enplaned PassengersDec 2012 RankDec 2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1United2,039.711,977.03.2
2American1,950.621,829.16.6
3Delta1,777.831,652.17.6
4US Airways526.64511.82.9
5JetBlue451.35355.626.9
6ExpressJet264.46234.412.8
7Alaska168.57161.34.4
8AirTran147.49120.622.2
9SkyWest132.911105.026.6
10American Eagle130.78150.4-13.1

Source: EmEdjimurjE, T-100 International Market

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 17. Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by 2013 International Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Airlines

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

2013 RankAirport2013 Enplaned Passengers2012 Rank2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1Miami5,815.515,644.53.0
2New York JFK5,056.624,932.82.5
3Atlanta4,312.334,169.73.4
4Newark3,944.743,893.71.3
5Houston Bush3,345.353,344.50.0
6Chicago O'Hare2,931.462,875.91.9
7Dallas/Fort Worth2,666.672,424.610.0
8Los Angeles2,019.281,932.44.5
9San Francisco1,878.591,818.83.3
10Philadelphia1,716.4101,632.15.2

Source: EmEdjimurjE, T-100 International Market

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 18. Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by December 2013 International Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Airlines

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

Dec 2013 RankAirportDec 2013 Enplaned PassengersDec 2012 RankDec 2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1Miami557.81507.69.9
2New York JFK449.32416.08.0
3Atlanta384.73357.07.8
4Houston Bush315.25301.34.6
5Newark313.74312.00.5
6Dallas/Fort Worth238.47221.37.8
7Chicago O'Hare237.36225.55.3
8Los Angeles184.08169.38.7
9San Francisco153.19148.33.2
10Detroit Metro121.112114.95.4

Source: EmEdjimurjE, T-100 International Market

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Updated: Wednesday, December 6, 2017
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