Airline Financial Data

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3rd Quarter 2016 Airline Financial Data

Release Number: 
BTS 61-16

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U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reported an after-tax net profit of $3.8 billion in the third quarter of 2016, down from $4.6 billion in the second quarter of 2016 and down from $9.3 billion in the third quarter of 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today (Table 1). 

billions of dollars ($)
3Q20159.3
4Q20156.9
1Q20163.1
2Q20164.6
3Q20163.8
Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Schedule P1.2 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295

The 25 U.S. scheduled service passenger airlines reported an after-tax net profit as a group for the 14th consecutive quarter.

In addition to the after-tax net profit of $3.8 billion based on net income reports, the scheduled service passenger airlines reported a $7.2 billion pre-tax operating profit in the third quarter of 2016, down from $7.9 billion in the second quarter of 2016 and down from $8.8 billion in the third quarter of 2015. The airlines reported a pre-tax operating profit - as a group - for the 22nd consecutive quarter (Tables 1, 4).

Net profit or loss and operating profit or loss are two different measures of airline financial performance. Net profit or loss includes non-operating income and expenses, nonrecurring items or income taxes. Operating profit or loss is calculated from operating revenues and expenses before taxes and other nonrecurring items.

Total operating revenue for all U.S. passenger airlines in the July-September third-quarter of 2016 was $44.4 billion. Airlines collected $33.3 billion from fares, 75.1 percent of total third-quarter operating revenue (Table 4).

Total operating expenses for all passenger airlines in the third-quarter of 2016 were $37.2 billion, of which fuel costs accounted for $6.1 billion, or 16.4 percent, and labor costs accounted for $12.7 billion, or 34.3 percent (Table 4).

In the third quarter, passenger airlines collected a total of $1.1 billion in baggage fees, 2.5 percent of total operating revenue, and $731 million from reservation change fees, 1.7 percent of total operating revenue. Fees are included for calculations of net income, operating revenue and operating profit or loss (Table 4).

Baggage fees and reservation change fees are the only ancillary fees paid by passengers that are reported to BTS as separate items. Other fees, such as revenue from seating assignments and on-board sales of food, beverages, pillows, blankets, and entertainment are combined in different categories and cannot be identified separately.

See airline financial data press releases and the airline financial databases  for historic data.

Domestic
From domestic operations, U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reported an after-tax net profit of $2.6 billion in the third quarter of 2016, down from $3.3 billion in the second quarter of 2016 and down from $5.7 billion in the third quarter of 2015 (Table 2). 

billions of dollars ($)
3Q20155.7
4Q20156.1
1Q20162.1
2Q20163.3
3Q20162.6
Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Schedule P1.2 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295

The 25 U.S. scheduled service passenger airlines reported an after-tax net profit from domestic operations as a group for the 14th consecutive quarter.

In addition to the after-tax net profit of $2.6 billion based on net income reports, the scheduled service passenger airlines reported a $5.4 billion pre-tax operating profit from domestic operations in the third quarter of 2016, down from $6.1 billion in the second quarter of 2016 and down from $6.2 billion in the third quarter of 2015. The airlines reported a pre-tax operating profit from domestic operations - as a group - for the 22nd consecutive quarter (Table 2).

Total operating revenue from domestic operations for all U.S. passenger airlines in the July-September third-quarter of 2016 was $32.9 billion. Airlines collected $23.6 billion from fares, 71.7 percent of total third-quarter operating revenue (Tables 2, 5).

Total operating expenses from domestic operations for all passenger airlines in the third-quarter of 2016 were $27.5 billion, of which fuel costs accounted for $4.1 billion, or 14.8 percent, and labor costs accounted for $9.2 billion, or 33.4 percent (Tables 2, 5).

In the third quarter, passenger airlines collected from domestic operations a total of $868 million in baggage fees, 2.6 percent of total operating revenue, and $468 million from reservation change fees, 1.4 percent of total operating revenue (Tables 2, 5).

International
From international operations, U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reported an after-tax net profit of $1.2 billion in the third quarter of 2016, down from $1.3 billion in the second quarter of 2016 and down from $3.6 billion in the third quarter of 2015 (Table 3).

billions of dollars ($)
3Q20153.6
4Q20150.8
1Q20161.0
2Q20161.3
3Q20161.2
Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Schedule P1.2 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295

The 17 U.S. scheduled service passenger airlines that operate internationally reported an after-tax net profit from international operations as a group for the seventh consecutive quarter.

In addition to the after-tax net profit of $1.2 billion based on net income reports, the scheduled service passenger airlines reported a $1.8 billion pre-tax operating profit from international operations in the third quarter of 2016, unchanged from $1.8 billion in the second quarter of 2016 and down from $2.6 billion in the second quarter of 2015. The airlines reported a pre-tax operating profit from international operations - as a group - for the 18th consecutive quarter (Table 3).

Total operating revenue from international operations for all U.S. passenger airlines in the July-September third-quarter of 2016 was $11.5 billion. Airlines collected $9.7 billion from fares, 84.8 percent of total third-quarter operating revenue (Tables 3, 6).

Total operating expenses from international operations for all passenger airlines in the third-quarter of 2016 were $9.7 billion, of which fuel costs accounted for $2.0 billion, or 20.9 percent, and labor costs accounted for $3.6 billion, or 37.0 percent (Tables 3, 6).

In the third quarter, passenger airlines collected from international operations a total of $233 million in baggage fees, 2.0 percent of total operating revenue, and $263 million from reservation change fees, 2.3 percent of total operating revenue (Tables 3, 6).

Margins for All Scheduled Passenger Airlines

All U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reported a combined net income margin of 8.6 percent in the third quarter of 2016, down from a net margin of 20.5 percent in the third quarter of 2015. Net margin is the net income or loss as a percentage of operating revenue. These airlines reported an operating profit margin of 16.3 percent in the third quarter of 2016, down from 19.5 percent in the third quarter of 2015. Operating margin is the operating profit or loss as a percentage of operating revenue (Table 4).

Reporting notes
Additional airline financial data can be found on the BTS website, including industry statistics for other individual low-cost and regional airlines. See tables for operating profit/loss, operating revenue and fuel cost and consumption. See the BTS financial databases for more detailed data.

By regulation, for the quarter ending Aug. 31, airlines that operate at least one aircraft that has more than 60 seats or the capacity to carry a payload of passengers, cargo and fuel weighing more than 18,000 pounds must report financial data to BTS by Nov. 10. The airline filings are subject to a process of quality assurance and data validations before release to the public.

Revised carrier data and late data filings will be made available monthly on TranStats on the Monday following the second Tuesday of the month. All data are subject to revision. BTS will release annual and fourth-quarter data on May 1.

Reports from 25 airlines in 3Q 2016 (Millions of dollars)
3Q 20154Q 20151Q 20162Q 20163Q 2016Dollar Change 3Q2015-3Q2016
Net Income9,2766,8913,0564,6493,825-5,451
Operating Profit/Loss8,8295,8875,6057,8737,248-1,581
Operating Revenue*45,20140,52539,15143,50544,406-796
Fares34,08630,16829,00832,46233,325-761
Baggage Fees1,0199589831,0731,10182
Reservation Change Fees755715749755731-24
Operating Expenses36,37234,63833,54735,63237,158786
Fuel 7,0715,8194,8605,5666,096-975
Labor11,86711,55511,79812,21312,748881
Notes: 

* Passenger airline operating revenue includes two other categories.  1) Transport-related is revenue from services which grow from and are incidental to the air transportation services performed by the air carrier. Examples are in-flight onboard sales (food, liquor, pillows, etc), code share revenues, revenues from associated businesses (aircraft maintenance, fuel sales, restaurants, vending machines, etc). 2) Miscellaneous operating revenue includes pet transportation, sale of frequent flyer award miles to airline business partners and standby passenger fees. See the P1.2 database http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedules P1.2 and P6

Reports from 25 airlines in 3Q 2016 (Millions of dollars)
Domestic Operations3Q 20154Q 20151Q 20162Q 20163Q 2016Dollar Change 3Q2015-3Q2016
Net Income5,6676,1072,0723,3282,599-3,069
Operating Profit/Loss6,2304,6224,2926,1055,442-788
Operating Revenue*32,13630,02428,72732,46332,935799
Fares23,72222,35621,35923,65023,598-124
Baggage Fees79374477384886874
Reservation Change Fees474462481483468-6
Operating Expenses25,90625,40224,43426,35827,4931,587
Fuel 4,5783,9133,3233,7624,080-498
Labor8,4548,4938,5308,7679,172718
Notes: 

* Passenger airline operating revenue includes two other categories.  1) Transport-related is revenue from services which grow from and are incidental to the air transportation services performed by the air carrier. Examples are in-flight onboard sales (food, liquor, pillows, etc), code share revenues, revenues from associated businesses (aircraft maintenance, fuel sales, restaurants, vending machines, etc). 2) Miscellaneous operating revenue includes pet transportation, sale of frequent flyer award miles to airline business partners and standby passenger fees. See the P1.2 database http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedules P1.2 and P6

Reports from 25 airlines in 3Q 2016 (Millions of dollars)
International Operations3Q 20154Q 20151Q 20162Q 20163Q 2016Dollar Change 3Q2015-3Q2016
Net Income3,6087849851,3211,226-2,382
Operating Profit/Loss2,5991,2651,3121,7681,806-793
Operating Revenue*13,06510,50110,42511,04211,470-1,595
Fares10,3647,8137,6508,8129,727-637
Baggage Fees2262142102252338
Reservation Change Fees282253268273263-18
Operating Expenses10,4669,2369,1129,2749,665-802
Fuel 2,4931,9071,5371,8042,016-478
Labor3,4143,0623,2683,4463,576162
Notes: 

* Passenger airline operating revenue includes two other categories.  1) Transport-related is revenue from services which grow from and are incidental to the air transportation services performed by the air carrier. Examples are in-flight onboard sales (food, liquor, pillows, etc), code share revenues, revenues from associated businesses (aircraft maintenance, fuel sales, restaurants, vending machines, etc). 2) Miscellaneous operating revenue includes pet transportation, sale of frequent flyer award miles to airline business partners and standby passenger fees. See the P1.2 database http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedules P1.2 and P6

Reports from 25 airlines in 3Q 2016 (Millions of dollars)
3Q 20153Q 2016Change2015-2016 % Change% of 3Q 2016 Revenue or Expense Total
Operating Revenue
Passenger Fares (scheduled/charter)34,085.933,325.2-760.7-2.2375.05
Cargo707.9664.1-43.8-6.191.50
Baggage1,019.01,100.881.88.032.48
Reservation Changes755.0730.8-24.2-3.211.65
Transport-Related*7,170.17,248.178.01.0916.32
Other**1,462.71,336.5-126.2-8.633.01
Total Operating Revenue45,200.644,405.5-795.1-1.76100.00
Operating Expense
Fuel7,071.06,096.1-974.9-13.7916.41
Labor11,867.312,748.0880.77.4234.31
Rentals2,167.12,227.560.42.795.99
Depreciation & Amortization1,900.32,116.6216.311.385.70
Landing Fees757.0778.621.62.852.10
Maintenance Materials635.5608.0-27.5-4.331.64
Transport-Related*4,606.44,614.78.30.1812.42
Other***7,367.47,968.0600.68.1521.44
Total Operating Expense36,372.037,157.5785.52.16100.00
Profits or Losses
Operating Profit8,828.67,248.0-1,580.6-17.90N/A
Operating Margin**** (%)19.516.3-3.2N/AN/A
Nonoperating Income/(Expense)#-1,171.0-1,074.396.7-8.26N/A
Pre-Tax Income7,657.66,173.7-1,483.9-19.38N/A
Income Tax Benefit/(Expense)1,618.0-2,349.1-3,967.1-245.19N/A
Other Income/(Expense)0.00.00.00.0N/A
Net Income9,275.53,824.6-5,450.9-58.77N/A
Net Margin## (%)20.58.6-11.9N/AN/A
Notes: 

* Transport-Related is revenue/expenses from services which grow from and are incidental to the air transportation services performed by the air carrier. Examples are in-flight onboard sales (food, liquor, pillows, etc), code share revenues, revenues and expenses from associated businesses (aircraft maintenance, fuel sales, restaurants, vending machines, etc).

** Other revenue includes miscellaneous operating revenue (including pet transportation, sale of frequent flyer award miles to airline business partners and standby passenger fees) and public service revenues subsidy.

*** Other expense includes purchase of materials such as passenger food and other materials; and purchase of services such as advertising, communication, insurance, outside flight equipment maintenance, traffic commissions and other services.

**** Operating margin is the operating profit or loss as a percentage of operating revenue

# Nonoperating Income and Expense includes interest on long-term debt and capital leases, other interest expense, foreign exchange gains and losses, capital gains and losses and other income and expenses.

## Net margin is the net income or loss as a percentage of operating revenue.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedules P1.2 and P6

Reports from 25 airlines in 3Q 2016 (Millions of dollars)
3Q 20153Q 2016Change2015-2016 % Change% of 3Q 2016 Revenue or Expense Total
Operating Revenue
Passenger Fares (scheduled/charter)23,721.923,597.8-124.1-0.5271.65
Cargo253.5235.0-18.5-7.300.71
Baggage793.3867.674.39.372.63
Reservation Changes473.6467.6-6.0-1.271.42
Transport-Related*5,725.76,703.4977.717.0820.35
Other**1,167.71,063.7-104.0-8.913.23
Total Operating Revenue32,135.732,935.1799.42.49100.00
Operating Expense
Fuel4,577.84,080.2-497.6-10.8714.84
Labor8,453.59,171.9718.48.5033.36
Rentals1,647.91,717.269.34.216.25
Depreciation & Amortization1,355.51,517.4161.911.945.52
Landing Fees571.6588.817.23.012.14
Maintenance Materials447.9464.416.53.681.69
Transport-Related*3,771.84,438.6666.817.6816.14
Other***5,079.85,514.4434.68.5620.06
Total Operating Expense25,905.827,492.91,587.16.13100.00
Profits or Losses
Operating Profit6,229.85,442.2-787.6-12.64N/A
Operating Margin**** (%)19.416.5-2.9N/AN/A
Nonoperating Income/(Expense)#-910.2-989.4-79.28.70N/A
Pre-Tax Income5,319.74,452.8-866.9-16.30N/A
Income Tax Benefit/(Expense)347.4-1,854.2-2,201.6-633.74N/A
Other Income/(Expense)0.00.00.00.0N/A
Net Income5,667.12,598.6-3,068.5-54.15N/A
Net Margin## (%)17.67.9-9.7N/AN/A
Notes: 

* Transport-Related is revenue/expenses from services which grow from and are incidental to the air transportation services performed by the air carrier. Examples are in-flight onboard sales (food, liquor, pillows, etc), code share revenues, revenues and expenses from associated businesses (aircraft maintenance, fuel sales, restaurants, vending machines, etc).

** Other revenue includes miscellaneous operating revenue (including pet transportation, sale of frequent flyer award miles to airline business partners and standby passenger fees) and public service revenues subsidy.

*** Other expense includes purchase of materials such as passenger food and other materials; and purchase of services such as advertising, communication, insurance, outside flight equipment maintenance, traffic commissions and other services.

**** Operating margin is the operating profit or loss as a percentage of operating revenue

# Nonoperating Income and Expense includes interest on long-term debt and capital leases, other interest expense, foreign exchange gains and losses, capital gains and losses and other income and expenses.

## Net margin is the net income or loss as a percentage of operating revenue.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedules P1.2 and P6

Reports from 25 airlines in 3Q 2016 (Millions of dollars)
3Q 20153Q 2016Change2015-2016 % Change% of 3Q 2016 Revenue or Expense Total
Operating Revenue
Passenger Fares (scheduled/charter)10,364.09,727.4-636.6-6.1484.80
Cargo454.4429.1-25.3-5.573.74
Baggage225.6233.27.63.372.03
Reservation Changes281.6263.2-18.4-6.532.29
Transport-Related*1,444.4544.7-899.7-62.294.75
Other**294.9272.8-22.1-7.492.38
Total Operating Revenue13,064.911,470.4-1,594.5-12.20100.00
Operating Expense
Fuel2,493.42,015.9-477.5-19.1520.86
Labor3,413.83,576.1162.34.7537.00
Rentals519.2510.3-8.9-1.715.28
Depreciation & Amortization544.8599.254.49.996.20
Landing Fees185.4189.84.42.371.96
Maintenance Materials187.6143.5-44.1-23.511.48
Transport-Related*834.6176.1-658.5-78.901.82
Other***2,287.42,453.7166.37.2725.39
Total Operating Expense10,466.29,664.5-801.7-7.66100.00
Profits or Losses
Operating Profit2,598.71,805.9-792.8-30.51N/A
Operating Margin**** (%)19.915.7-4.1N/AN/A
Nonoperating Income/(Expense)#-260.8-84.9175.9-67.45N/A
Pre-Tax Income2,337.91,721.0-616.9-26.39N/A
Income Tax Benefit/(Expense)1,270.5-495.0-1,765.5-138.96N/A
Other Income/(Expense)0.00.00.00.0N/A
Net Income3,608.41,226.0-2,382.4-66.02N/A
Net Margin## (%)27.610.7-16.9N/AN/A
Notes: 

* Transport-Related is revenue/expenses from services which grow from and are incidental to the air transportation services performed by the air carrier. Examples are in-flight onboard sales (food, liquor, pillows, etc), code share revenues, revenues and expenses from associated businesses (aircraft maintenance, fuel sales, restaurants, vending machines, etc).

** Other revenue includes miscellaneous operating revenue (including pet transportation, sale of frequent flyer award miles to airline business partners and standby passenger fees) and public service revenues subsidy.

*** Other expense includes purchase of materials such as passenger food and other materials; and purchase of services such as advertising, communication, insurance, outside flight equipment maintenance, traffic commissions and other services.

**** Operating margin is the operating profit or loss as a percentage of operating revenue

# Nonoperating Income and Expense includes interest on long-term debt and capital leases, other interest expense, foreign exchange gains and losses, capital gains and losses and other income and expenses.

## Net margin is the net income or loss as a percentage of operating revenue.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedules P1.2 and P6

Updated: Wednesday, February 8, 2017