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February 2013 U.S. Airline System Passengers Down 1.2% from February 2012

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today that U.S. airlines carried 52.5 million scheduled systemwide passengers in February 2013, 1.2 percent less than in February 2012. The systemwide decrease was the result of a 1.5 percent decrease in the number of domestic passengers (45.7 million) and a 0.7 percent increase in international passengers (6.8 million) (Tables 1, 7, 13).

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

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

SOURCE for Recession Dates: National Bureau of Economic Research,

BTS, a part of the Department’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that reported that U.S. airlines carried 0.2 percent more total system (domestic + international) passengers during the first two months of 2013 (107.8 million) than during the same period in 2012 (Table 2). Domestically, U.S. airlines carried 93.5 million passengers, unchanged from 2012 (Table 8). Internationally, they carried 14.3 million passengers, up 1.6 percent from 2012 (Table 14). See Tables 2, 8 and 14 of Air Traffic Press Releases for previous-year data.

The system load factor of 79.2 percent, the domestic load factor of 81.0 percent and the international load factor of 75.8 percent were record highs for the month of February (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.

Load Factor and Capacity

The February system and domestic load factor records topped the previous highs set in February 2012 following year-to-year capacity cuts for both system (-3.2 percent) and domestic (-2.6 percent) (Tables 1, 7). In February, for the third consecutive month, international capacity declined from the same month of the previous year. The capacity decline combined with an RPM increase from February 2012 resulted in a record international load factor for the month of February, surpassing the previous high set in February 2010 (Table 13). Load factor is a measure of the use of aircraft capacity that compares RPMs as a proportion of ASMs. See Tables 1, 7 and 13 of Air Traffic Press Releases for previous-year data.

Top Airlines

Monthly: In February, Delta Air Lines carried more system passengers than any other U.S. airline (Table 4).  Southwest Airlines carried the most domestic passengers (Table 10). United Airlines carried the most international passengers (Table 16). The top 10 U.S. airlines in terms of number of passengers carried 80.4 percent of systemwide passengers, up from 79.7 percent carried by the U.S. airlines that were in the top 10 in February 2012.

Year-to-date: During the first two months of 2013, Delta carried more system passengers than any other U.S. airline (Table 3) and Southwest carried the most domestic passengers (Table 9).  United carried the most international passengers (Table 15). The top 10 U.S. airlines carried 80.5 percent of systemwide passengers, up from 79.7 percent carried by the U.S. airlines that were in the top 10 during the first two months of 2012.

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.

Top Airports           

Monthly: In February, more total system 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).

Year-to-date: During the first two months of 2013, more total system 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 77 carriers as of May 9 for U.S. carrier scheduled civilian operations. 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 system passengers, RPMs and ASMs by carrier through February, 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 February and international numbers through November by origin as well as by carrier, after clicking on “Aviation,” 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 system and international totals do not include U.S. carriers’ foreign point-to-point flights. For February, U.S. carriers reported 188,235 foreign point-to-point passengers. For January through February, U.S. carriers reported 387,065 foreign point-to-point passengers.

Data are subject to revision. BTS has scheduled June 20 for the release of March traffic data.

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

 MonthlyYear-to-Date
Feb 2012Feb 2013Change %20122013Change %
Passengers (in millions)53.152.5-1.2107.6107.80.2
Flights (in thousands)713.7671.3-5.91,461.11,403.3-4.0
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions)57.557.50.1118.5120.01.2
Available Seat-Miles (in billions)75.072.6-3.2153.7151.8-1.2
Load Factor*76.779.22.577.179.12.0
Flight Stage Length**746.4761.02.0746.9761.21.9
Passenger Trip Length***1,081.61,096.01.31,102.01,112.51.0

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 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
January53.754.41.455.31.6
February50.153.16.152.5-1.2
March63.664.51.4  
April60.561.51.6  
May63.963.7-0.3  
June66.266.60.6  
July69.969.2-1.0  
August66.367.82.2  
September58.157.4-1.1  
October61.260.8-0.6  
November58.358.70.8  
December59.158.9-0.3  
2 Mo Total103.8107.63.7107.80.2
Yr. Total730.8736.60.8  

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

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

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Jan-Feb 2013 RankCarrierJan-Feb 2013 Enplaned PassengersJan-Feb 2012 RankJan-Feb 2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1Delta16.571215.9394.0
2Southwest*15.939116.220-1.7
3American13.337413.1861.1
4United13.280313.619-2.5
5US Airways8.77458.4394.0
6ExpressJet4.65164.5452.3
7JetBlue4.54674.2846.1
8SkyWest4.07783.70410.1
9Alaska2.849102.6895.9
10AirTran2.73593.200-14.5

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

* Southwest and AirTran are reporting as separate carriers with the exception of the financials. 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 are operating as separate economic entities.

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Note: For previous rankings see BTS Air Traffic Press Releases

Table 4. Top 10 U.S. Airlines, ranked by February 2013 Scheduled System (Domestic and International) Enplanements

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Feb 2013 RankCarrierFeb 2013 Enplaned PassengersFeb 2012 RankFeb 2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1Delta8.06327.8552.7
2Southwest*7.89218.050-2.0
3United6.36336.659-4.4
4American6.36046.415-0.9
5US Airways4.39854.1476.1
6ExpressJet2.26162.315-2.3
7JetBlue2.16272.1212.0
8SkyWest1.99181.8398.3
9Alaska1.374111.3382.6
10AirTran1.35491.597-15.2

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

* Southwest and AirTran are reporting as separate carriers with the exception of the financials. 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 are operating as separate economic entities.

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Note: For previous rankings see BTS Air Traffic Press Releases

Table 5. Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by January-February 2013 Scheduled System (Domestic and International) Enplanements on U.S. Airlines*

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Jan-Feb 2013 RankAirportJan-Feb 2013 Enplaned PassengersJan-Feb 2012 RankJan-Feb 2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1Atlanta6.43316.3730.9
2Dallas/Fort Worth4.28534.0296.4
3Chicago O'Hare4.14324.179-0.9
4Denver3.70543.6710.9
5Los Angeles3.58253.635-1.5
6Charlotte3.18673.0056.0
7Phoenix3.02963.0090.7
8Las Vegas2.69482.791-3.5
9Houston Bush2.69092.729-1.4
10San Francisco2.554102.575-0.8

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

* Numbers do not include international enplanements on foreign carriers

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Table 6. Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by February 2013 Scheduled System (Domestic and International) Enplanements on U.S. Airlines*

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Feb 2013 RankAirportFeb 2013 Enplaned PassengersFeb 2012 RankFeb 2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1Atlanta3.14013.179-1.2
2Dallas/Fort Worth2.09331.9954.9
3Chicago O'Hare2.00622.100-4.4
4Denver1.77441.798-1.3
5Los Angeles1.71951.767-2.7
6Charlotte1.59571.4847.5
7Phoenix1.52161.4852.4
8Las Vegas1.30581.362-4.2
9Houston Bush1.29691.328-2.4
10San Francisco1.251101.266-1.2

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

* Numbers do not include international enplanements on foreign carriers

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

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

 MonthlyYear-to-Date
Feb 2012Feb 2013Change %20122013Change %
Passengers (in millions)46.445.7-1.593.593.50.0
Flights (in thousands)647.3607.0-6.21,325.01,268.8-4.2
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions)40.540.4-0.382.183.11.1
Available Seat-Miles (in billions)51.349.9-2.6104.7104.1-0.6
Load Factor*78.981.02.178.479.81.4
Flight Stage Length**638.4653.22.3638.1652.62.3
Passenger Trip Length***871.4882.51.3878.3888.11.1

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 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
January46.347.11.747.81.5
February43.746.46.445.7-1.5
March55.656.21.0  
April52.953.71.6  
May56.055.7-0.4  
June57.857.90.2  
July60.359.7-1.0  
August57.458.62.2  
September51.050.1-1.7  
October54.153.7-0.8  
November51.751.80.4  
December51.551.2-0.7  
2 Mo. Total90.093.53.993.50.0
Yr. Total638.2642.20.6  

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

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

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Jan-Feb 2013 RankCarrierJan-Feb 2013 Enplaned PassengersJan-Feb 2012 RankJan-Feb 2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1Southwest*15.939116.220-1.7
2Delta13.596213.0074.5
3American10.01849.8651.6
4United9.64039.903-2.7
5US Airways7.74657.4733.7
6ExpressJet4.20864.1611.1
7JetBlue3.89373.6955.4
8SkyWest3.86483.5179.9
9Alaska2.545112.3697.4
10AirTran2.50293.024-17.3

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market

* Southwest and AirTran are reporting as separate carriers with the exception of the financials. 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 are operating as separate economic entities.

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Note: For previous rankings see BTS Air Traffic Press Releases

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

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

February 2013 RankCarrierFebruary 2013 Enplaned PassengersFebruary 2012 RankFebruary 2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1Southwest*7.89218.050-2.0
2Delta6.65126.4622.9
3American4.82244.868-0.9
4United4.68634.919-4.7
5US Airways3.88753.6825.6
6ExpressJet2.05062.122-3.4
7SkyWest1.88681.7468.0
8JetBlue1.85271.8311.1
9AirTran1.23791.507-18.0
10Alaska1.228111.1823.9

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market

* Southwest and AirTran are reporting as separate carriers with the exception of the financials. 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 are operating as separate economic entities.

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Note: For previous rankings see BTS Air Traffic Press Releases

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

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Jan-Feb 2013 RankAirportJan-Feb 2013 Enplaned PassengersJan-Feb 2012 RankJan-Feb 2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1Atlanta5.83515.7751.0
2Dallas/Fort Worth3.90633.6856.0
3Chicago O'Hare3.75323.783-0.8
4Denver3.60343.5700.9
5Los Angeles3.29853.333-1.1
6Charlotte2.98872.8176.1
7Phoenix2.89462.8740.7
8Las Vegas2.69182.788-3.5
9Orlando2.39092.469-3.2
10San Francisco2.307102.332-1.1

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

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

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)

Feb 2013 RankAirportFeb 2013 Enplaned PassengersFeb 2012 RankFeb 2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1Atlanta2.85012.889-1.4
2Dallas/Fort Worth1.91231.8304.5
3Chicago O'Hare1.82521.913-4.6
4Denver1.72341.746-1.3
5Los Angeles1.58351.621-2.3
6Charlotte1.49271.3907.3
7Phoenix1.45061.4192.2
8Las Vegas1.30381.361-4.2
9Orlando1.15891.221-5.2
10San Francisco1.132101.148-1.4

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

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

 MonthlyYear-to-Date
Feb 2012Feb 2013Change %20122013Change %
Passengers (in millions)6.76.80.714.114.31.6
Flights (in thousands)66.464.3-3.2136.1134.5-1.1
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions)17.017.20.936.436.91.3
Available Seat-Miles (in billions)23.822.7-4.449.047.7-2.6
Load Factor*71.475.84.474.377.43.1
Flight Stage Length**1,799.01,778.3-1.11,805.81,786.0-1.1
Passenger Trip Length***2,537.52,542.30.22,589.02,582.4-0.3

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 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
February6.46.74.46.80.7
March7.98.34.2  
April7.77.81.7  
May7.97.90.7  
June8.58.72.8  
July9.69.5-1.0  
August8.99.12.4  
September7.17.32.8  
October7.17.21.0  
November6.66.94.3  
December7.57.72.3  
2 Mo. Total13.814.11.914.31.6
Yr. Total92.594.42.0  

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

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

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

Jan-Feb 2013 RankCarrierJan-Feb 2013 Enplaned PassengersJan-Feb 2012 RankJan-Feb 2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1United3,639.313,715.3-2.0
2American3,319.323,320.60.0
3Delta2,974.932,932.71.4
4US Airways1,027.14965.96.3
5JetBlue652.85589.410.8
6ExpressJet443.56384.315.4
7Alaska304.07319.9-5.0
8American Eagle268.710182.946.9
9AirTran*232.311175.732.2
10SkyWest212.89186.714.0

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market

* Southwest and AirTran are reporting as separate carriers with the exception of the financials. 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 are operating as separate economic entities.

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Note: For previous rankings see BTS Air Traffic Press Releases

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

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

Feb 2013 RankCarrierFeb 2013 Enplaned PassengersFeb 2012 RankFeb 2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1United1,677.111,739.7-3.6
2American1,537.321,547.6-0.7
3Delta1,412.831,393.21.4
4US Airways511.84465.89.9
5JetBlue310.65289.87.2
6ExpressJet210.86192.89.3
7Alaska145.67156.5-7.0
8American Eagle126.41090.739.3
9AirTran*116.91189.430.8
10SkyWest105.8992.414.4

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market

* Southwest and AirTran are reporting as separate carriers with the exception of the financials. 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 are operating as separate economic entities.

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Note: For previous rankings see BTS Air Traffic Press Releases

Table 17. Top 10 U.S. Airports, ranked by January-February 2012 International Scheduled Enplanements on U.S. Airlines*

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

Jan-Feb 2013 RankAirportJan-Feb 2013 Enplaned PassengersJan-Feb 2012 RankJan-Feb 2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1Miami947.81955.7-0.8
2New York JFK652.12638.12.2
3Atlanta598.43597.60.1
4Newark558.94572.0-2.3
5Houston Bush505.15514.6-1.9
6Chicago O'Hare390.26396.5-1.6
7Dallas/Fort Worth378.57343.310.3
8Los Angeles283.98302.0-6.0
9San Francisco246.89243.11.5
10Philadelphia229.211210.58.9

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market

* Numbers do not include international enplanements on foreign carriers

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

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

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)

Feb 2013 RankAirportFeb 2013 Enplaned PassengersFeb 2012 RankFeb 2012 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2012-2013
1Miami450.61451.2-0.1
2New York JFK306.62310.3-1.2
3Atlanta290.73290.60.0
4Newark259.54275.8-5.9
5Houston Bush236.85243.5-2.7
6Chicago O'Hare181.96186.9-2.7
7Dallas/Fort Worth180.57164.99.5
8Los Angeles135.78145.3-6.6
9San Francisco118.69117.50.9
10Philadelphia117.210101.016.0

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market

* Numbers do not include international enplanements on foreign carriers

Note: Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Updated: Thursday, December 7, 2017
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