Figure 2: Most Costly Operating Expenses - 2000 to Q3 2010
(Data are quarterly)
NOTE: Most costly = any item accounting for 10 percent or more of total operating expenses in Q3 2010. Fuel = cost of aviation fuel used in flight operations, excluding taxes, transportation, storage, and fueling expenses. Labor = wages, employee benefits (e.g., annuity payments, educational, medical, recreational, and retirement programs) and payroll taxes (e.g., FICA, State and Federal unemployment insurance) paid to or on behalf of general management, flight personnel, maintenance labor, and aircraft and traffic handling personnel. Rents and ownership = the cost of aircraft rentals; depreciation and amortization of flight equipment, including airframes and parts, aircraft engine and parts, capital leases and other flight equipment; airport terminal rents, hangars, ground service and support equipment (GSE), storage and distribution equipment, and communication and meteorological equipment. Transport-related = expenses incurred for providing air transportation facilities associated with the performance of service that emanate from and are incidental to air transportation services performed by the carrier, including expenses related to regional jet contract agreements.
SOURCE: ATA Quarterly Cost Index: U.S. Passenger Airlines, http://www.airlines.org/Economics/DataAnalysis/Pages/QuarterlyCostIndex.aspx as of April 2011.