The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, reported that passenger revenue(1) rose 12 percent in April 2011 compared to the same month in 2010, marking the 16th consecutive month of revenue growth. The revenue data is based on a sample group of U.S. carriers.(2)
“Growth in air travel spending at the start of the second quarter bodes well for U.S. economic recovery. ATA forecasts 1.5 percent more passengers will fly during the summer months and is optimistic that strong international demand will help offset volatile fuel costs,” said ATA Vice President and Chief Economist John Heimlich.
Systemwide passenger traffic, as measured by miles flown by paying passengers,(3) rose 3 percent while the average price to fly one mile, also known as yield, rose 9 percent for the month.
U.S. domestic revenue grew 8.6 percent, fueled in large part by an 8.8 percent yield increase.
Trans-Atlantic revenue grew 27 percent from a year ago, reflecting the restoration of operations, which were temporarily cut during the Icelandic volcano-related airspace closures in April 2010.
Trans-Pacific revenue rose 5.5 percent as higher passenger yields grew, offsetting a decrease in passenger traffic. This modest increase partly reflects adjustments made following the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
Latin American revenue grew 24 percent as passenger yields grew 16 percent, the largest increase of any region.
A sample of U.S. airlines(4) saw spending on shipments of freight and mail rise 22 percent year over year (up 17 percent domestically and 24 percent internationally) in April 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).
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