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BTS: US airlines’ load factor up after two months of decline

BTS: US airlines’ load factor up after two months of decline

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today that US airlines’ systemwide (domestic and international) scheduled service load factor – a measure of the use of airline capacity – rose to 83.6 percent in September, seasonally adjusted, rising after two months of decline from July through August.


The seasonally-adjusted load factor rose from August (82.6 percent) to September (83.6 percent) because passenger travel grew (1.2 percent increase in Revenue-Passenger-Miles (RPMs)) while system capacity (Available Seat-Miles (ASMs)) was virtually unchanged.

Load factor is a measure of the use of aircraft capacity that compares the system use, measured in RPMs as a proportion of system capacity, measured in ASMs.

Trends:

Seasonally-adjusted

Systemwide load factor (83.6 percent) was down 1 point from the all-time seasonally-adjusted high (84.6 percent) reached in October 2015. Domestic load factor (84.8 percent) was down 1.1 points from the all-time seasonally-adjusted high (85.9 percent) reached in October 2015. International load factor (80.6 percent) was down 2.5 points from the all-time seasonally-adjusted high (83.1 percent) reached in March 2013.

Systemwide RPMs (78.3 billion) were virtually equal to the all-time seasonally-adjusted high (78.3 billion) reached in June 2016. Domestic RPM (55.5 billion) reached a new seasonally-adjusted all-time high, up 0.5 percent from June 2016. International RPMs (22.8 billion) were down 1.2 percent from the all-time seasonally-adjusted high (23.1 billion) reached in June 2016.

Systemwide ASMs (93.8 billion) reached a new seasonally-adjusted all-time high, up slightly from August 2016 (93.7 billion). Domestic ASMs (65.5 billion) reached a new seasonally-adjusted all-time high, up 0.1 percent from August 2016 (65.4 billion). International ASMs (28.3 billion) were down 0.5 percent from the all-time seasonally-adjusted high (28.4 billion) reached in June 2016.

Systemwide passenger enplanements (69.3 million) reached a new seasonally-adjusted all-time high, up 0.3 percent from June 2016 (69.0 million). Domestic passenger enplanements (60.6 million) reached a new seasonally-adjusted all-time high, up 0.5 percent from May 2016 (60.3 million). International passenger enplanements (8.6 million) were down 1.4 percent from the all-time seasonally-adjusted high (8.8 million) reached in June 2016.

Seasonally adjusted trends are for the time period January 2000 to present. Additional data, including domestic and international numbers, can be found on the seasonally-adjusted data  page.

Unadjusted

Systemwide load factor (83.3 percent) was up 0.3 points from the all-time September high (83.0 percent) reached in 2015. Domestic load factor (84.2 percent) was up 0.4 points from the previous all-time September high (83.8 percent) reached in 2015. International load factor (81.1 percent) was down 2.5 points from the all-time September high (83.6 percent) reached in 2010.

Systemwide RPMs (75.3 billion) reached an all-time September high, up 3.9 percent from the previous high (72.5 billion) reached in 2015. Domestic RPMs (52.7 billion) reached an all-time September high, up 5.6 percent from the previous high (49.9 billion) reached in 2015. International RPMs (22.7 billion) reached an all-time September high, up 0.2 percent from the previous high (22.6 billion) reached in 2015.

Systemwide ASMs (90.4 billion) reached an all-time September high, up 3.6 percent from the previous high (87.3 billion) reached in 2015.

Domestic ASMs (62.5 billion) reached an all-time September high, up 4.5 percent from the previous high (59.8 billion) reached in 2007. International ASMs (27.9 billion) reached an all-time September high, up 0.5 percent from the previous high (27.8 billion) reached in 2015.

Systemwide passenger enplanements (66.5 million) reached an all-time September high, up 4.3 percent from the previous high (63.7 million) reached in 2015. Domestic passenger enplanements (58.6 million) reached an all-time September high, up 4.7 percent from the previous high (56.0 million) reached in 2015. International passenger enplanements (7.9 million) reached an all-time September high, up 1.4 percent from the previous high (7.8 million) reached in 2015.

Unadjusted trends are for the time period January 1996 to present.

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