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Airline Traffic Data

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August 2020 U.S. Airline Traffic Data

Release Number: 
BTS 78-20
Date: Friday, November 13, 2020

U.S. airlines carried 23.7 million systemwide (domestic and international) scheduled service passengers in August 2020, seasonally-adjusted, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS), up 11.8% from July.

BTS is withholding the scheduled release of estimated traffic data for September and October because the statistical forecasts are based on previous trends and do not account for the impact of the coronavirus.

BTS reported 22.5 million domestic passengers and 1.2 million international passengers on U.S. airlines flights in August.

Passengers in millions (Seasonally adjusted)
Aug-1771.2
Sep-1769.5
Oct-1772.0
Nov-1772.3
Dec-1772.3
Jan-1872.4
Feb-1873.9
Mar-1873.1
Apr-1873.8
May-1873.7
Jun-1874.4
Jul-1874.4
Aug-1874.3
Sep-1873.9
Oct-1875.1
Nov-1874.8
Dec-1875.8
Jan-1975.0
Feb-1976.1
Mar-1977.1
Apr-1976.6
May-1976.9
Jun-1977.3
Jul-1977.3
Aug-1977.4
Sep-1977.9
Oct-1977.8
Nov-1979.0
Dec-1978.7
Jan-2079.6
Feb-2078.8
Mar-2037.7
Apr-203.0
May-208.0
Jun-2015.4
Jul-2021.2
Aug-2023.7

U.S. airline traffic reports are filed monthly with BTS. See the tables that accompany this release on the BTS website for summary data since 2016 (Tables 1-24) and complete data since 2000.

Two measures of U.S. airlines passenger enplanements

August seasonally-adjusted

  • System-wide enplanements (23.7M) were down 70.2% from the all-time high of 79.6 million reached in January 2020.
  • Domestic enplanements (22.5M) were down 67.8% from the all-time high of 69.8 million reached in January 2020.
  • International enplanements (1.2M) were down 87.8% from the all-time high of 9.81 million reached in January 2020.

August unadjusted

  • Systemwide enplanements (25.3M) were down 69.8% from the all-time August high of 83.8 million reached in 2019 but up 5.4% from July 2020 (24.0M).
  • Domestic enplanements (23.9M) were down 67.1% from the all-time August high of 72.7 million reached in 2019 but up 4.5% from July 2020 (22.9M).
  • International enplanements (1.38M) were down 87.5% from the all-time August high of 11.1 million reached in 2019 but up 22.6% from July 2020 (1.13M).
Table A. Seasonally Adjusted Passenger Enplanements Compared to Previous Time Periods
Percent Change Compared to
Seasonally Adjusted
Passengers (in
millions)
Previous
Month
Previous
Year
Three
Years
Previous
August23.711.8%-69.4%-66.7%
Table B. Unadjusted Passenger Enplanements Compared to Previous Time Periods
Percent Change Compared to
Unadjusted
Passengers (in
millions)
Previous
Year
Two
Years
Previous
Three
Years
Previous
August25.3-69.8%-68.8%-67.2%

For data filed through August, see accompanying tables. For the complete database of reported data, see Traffic. For an explanation of BTS’ seasonal adjustment methodology, see Seasonal Adjustment.

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 66 U.S. carriers as of Nov. 3 for U.S. carrier scheduled civilian operations.

See the BTS Airlines and Airports page for additional scheduled service numbers through August for U.S. airlines. International data by origin and destination is available through May.

BTS has scheduled Dec. 10 for the release of data through September.

None of the data are from samples. Measures of statistical significance do not apply to the complete air traffic data.

Updated: Friday, November 13, 2020