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CORRECTED BTS Statistics Release: 2016 Traffic Data for U.S Airlines and Foreign Airlines U.S. Flights

Release Number: 
BTS 17-17 Corrected

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Note: This press release replaces BTS 17-17 issued on March 27. This version includes several foreign carrier reports that were not included in the previous version due to a processing error. International totals and foreign carrier numbers have been corrected throughout. U.S. carrier numbers have not changed from the previous version.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today that U.S. airlines and foreign airlines serving the United States carried an all-time high of 932.0 million systemwide (domestic and international) scheduled service passengers in 2016, 3.8 percent more than the previous record high of 897.9  million reached in 2015. The systemwide increase was the result of a 3.3 percent rise from 2015 in the number of passengers on domestic flights (719.0 million in 2016) and 5.5 percent growth from 2015 in passengers on U.S. and foreign airlines’ flights to and from the U.S. (213.0 million in 2016) (Tables 1, 1A, 5).

Passengers (000,000)
YearTotalDomesticInternational
2003704.1583.3120.8
2004767.2629.8137.4
2005804.4657.3147.1
2006811.7658.4153.4
2007838.5679.2159.3
2008812.7651.7161.0
2009770.6618.1152.5
2010790.2629.5160.7
2011804.6638.2166.3
2012815.5642.3173.2
2013827.3645.7181.6
2014853.3662.8190.5
2015897.9696.0201.9
2016932.0719.0213.0
Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market (All Carriers)

U.S. airlines carried 3.3 percent more passengers on domestic flights and 1.7 percent more passengers on international flights in 2016 than in 2015 for a systemwide increase of 3.1 percent. Foreign airlines carried 9.4 percent more passengers to and from the United States than in 2015. The 213.0 million passengers on international flights to and from the United States was a record high, exceeding the previous high set in 2015 (Tables 1A, 1B, 5).

This annual release includes preliminary data on U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service, including from one foreign point to another foreign point, and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States. BTS regular monthly air traffic releases include data on U.S. carrier scheduled service only. For U.S. domestic service data for 2016, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release.

Airlines with Most Passengers in 2016

Southwest Airlines carried more total system passengers in 2016 than any other U.S. airline. American Airlines carried more passengers on international flights to and from the U.S. in 2016 than any other U.S. or foreign carrier. British Airways carried the most passengers on flights to and from the U.S. of any foreign airline (Tables 3 and 7).

U.S. Airports with Most Passengers in 2016

More total system passengers boarded planes in 2016 at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International than at any other U.S. airport. More passengers boarded international flights at New York John F. Kennedy than at any other U.S. airport (Tables 4 and 8).

Load Factor and Capacity

From 2015 to 2016, systemwide demand, measured in Revenue Passenger-Miles, (RPMs), grew by 5.7 percent while capacity, measured in Available Seat-Miles (ASMs), grew by 6.0 percent. As a result, load factor, which measures the use of capacity, fell by 0.2 percent (Table 1). 

Demand on international flights, measured in RPMs, rose slightly less than the growth in capacity measured in ASMs. The result was a decline in the international load factor to 80.5 from 80.6 in 2015 (Table 5).

For annual airline and airport statistics, Tables 1 through 4 provide combined domestic and international travel statistics, and Tables 5 through 8 provide international travel statistics.

Reporting Notes

Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial U.S. and foreign air carriers detailing operations, passenger traffic and freight traffic. This release includes data received by BTS from 207 carriers as of March 13 for U.S. and foreign carrier scheduled civilian operations. See the complete list of reporting and non-reporting carriers. Figure 1 numbers begin with 2003, the first full year of data following a reporting change that went into effect in October 2002.

For additional passenger, flight, Revenue Passenger-Miles, Available Seat-Miles, load factor and freight numbers, go to the Airlines and Airports page and use the Quick Links. International totals and results for foreign carriers may differ from the press release until the next database update scheduled for April 13. Also, the web tables do not include U.S. carrier foreign point-to-point operations. For 2016, U.S. carriers reported 1,144,651 foreign point-to-point passengers.

To create a customized table for U.S. carrier passengers, flights, RPMs, ASMs and other data, including non-scheduled service, go to BTS Air Carrier Traffic Statistics.

Additional traffic numbers are available on the BTS website at TranStats. Click on “Aviation.”  For U.S. carrier system passengers, RPMs and ASMs by carrier through December, click on “Air Carrier Summary Data (Form 41 and 298C Summary Data),” and then click on “Schedule T-1.” Use crosstabs to find scheduled service.

For domestic numbers through December and international numbers through September by origin as well as by carrier, after clicking on “Aviation,” click on “Air Carrier Statistics (Form 41 Traffic).”  Click on “T-100 Market” for system passenger numbers, “T-100 Domestic Market” for domestic or “T-100 International Market” for international. For flights, stage length and trip length, use the appropriate T-100 Segment database. Use crosstabs to find scheduled service. Complete international data for the full year 2015 will be released on June 15.

TranStats T-100 system and international totals do not include U.S. carriers’ foreign point-to-point flights. None of the data are from samples so measures of statistical significance do not apply. Data in this press release are not seasonally adjusted.

Scheduled service
Annual
20152016Change %
Passengers (in millions)897.9932.03.8
Flights (in thousands)9,544.79,718.31.8
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions)1,300.41,374.35.7
Available Seat-Miles (in billions)1,573.01,667.16.0
Load Factor*82.782.4-0.2
Flight Stage Length**944.9964.22.0
Passenger Trip Length***1,448.31,474.61.8
Notes: 

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States.  For U.S. carrier domestic and international service service data for 2016, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release: https://www.bts.gov/newsroom/2016-annual-and-december-us-airline-traffic...

* Change in load factor points

** The average non-stop distance flown per departure in miles

*** The average distance flown per passenger in miles

Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market and Segment

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)
20152016Change %
U.S. Carrier Domestic696.0719.03.3
International102.2103.91.7
System798.2823.03.1
Foreign CarrierTo and From U.S. 99.7109.09.4
Total 897.9932.03.8
Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)
Destination
DomesticForeign
OriginDomesticDomestic carriers719.0Domestic carriers51.5
Foreign CarriersN/AForeign Carriers54.6
ForeignDomestic carriers51.5Domestic carriers1.1
Foreign Carriers55.5Foreign Carriers*N/A
Notes: 

* Foreign carriers do not report to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics on flights without a U.S. origin or destination

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market (All Carriers)

Scheduled passenger numbers in millions (000,000)
201420152014-2015 Pct. Change20162015-2016 Pct. Change
January62.865.34.069.15.7
February58.260.64.265.68.3
March73.576.03.479.14.0
April70.973.84.275.62.4
May74.377.54.380.74.2
June76.780.14.584.35.2
July80.785.55.987.72.6
August78.682.85.484.21.8
September67.672.26.775.95.1
October72.277.26.978.72.0
November66.472.18.575.04.0
December71.474.84.876.21.8
Yr. Total853.3897.95.2932.03.8
Notes: 

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States.  For U.S. carrier domestic and international service data for 2014, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release: http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/press_releases/bts015_16

Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)
2016 RankCarrier2016 Enplaned Passengers2015 Rank2015 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2015-2016
1Southwest151.7401144.5755.0
2American**144.1913118.29321.9
3Delta143.0762138.5913.2
4United100.119495.3275.0
5JetBlue38.241535.0749.0
6SkyWest31.205630.0783.7
7Alaska24.371922.8286.8
8ExpressJet22.185826.003-14.7
9Spirit20.9981017.62919.1
10Frontier14.7731212.56917.5
Notes: 

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States.  For U.S. carrier domestic and international service data for 2014, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release: https://www.bts.gov/newsroom/2016-annual-and-december-us-airline-traffic...

** American Airlines 2015 passenger number includes 28.256 million passengers reported as US Airways from Jan-Jun 2015.

Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding. 

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

Passenger numbers in millions (000,000)
2016 RankAirport2016 Enplaned Passengers2015 Rank2015 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2015-2016
1Atlanta50.455149.3202.3
2Los Angeles39.597236.4388.7
3Chicago O'Hare37.404336.2473.2
4Dallas/Fort Worth31.251431.569-1.0
5New York JFK29.112527.9154.3
6Denver28.222626.2517.5
7San Francisco25.697724.2266.1
8Las Vegas22.609921.6404.5
9Seattle21.8421320.1268.5
10Charlotte21.439821.895-2.1
Notes: 

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States.  For U.S. carrier domestic and international service data for 2016, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release: https://www.bts.gov/newsroom/2016-annual-and-december-us-airline-traffic...

 Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

Scheduled service
Annual
20152016Change %
Passengers (in millions)201.9213.05.5
Flights (in thousands)1,483.61,538.93.7
Revenue Passenger Miles (in billions)669.3713.86.7
Available Seat-Miles (in billions)830.4886.46.7
Load Factor*80.680.5-0.1
Flight Stage Length**2,333.62,370.91.6
Passenger Trip Length***3,315.23,352.11.1
Notes: 

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States.  For U.S. carrier domestic and international service data for 2016, see the https://www.bts.gov/newsroom/2016-annual-and-december-us-airline-traffic...

* Change in load factor points

** The average non-stop distance flown per departure in miles

*** The average distance flown per passenger in miles

Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market and Segment

Scheduled passenger numbers in millions (000,000)
201420152014-2015 Pct. Change20162015-2016 Pct. Change
January14.915.64.816.66.5
February12.613.46.314.58.1
March15.816.54.317.56.2
April15.616.13.316.73.5
May16.417.24.918.04.4
June17.418.35.019.56.5
July18.920.37.421.55.9
August18.820.06.420.83.6
September15.116.27.317.26.4
October15.116.37.917.04.3
November13.814.98.015.75.0
December15.917.06.518.05.9
Yr. Total190.5201.96.0213.05.5
Notes: 

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States.  For U.S. carrier domestic and international service data for 2016, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release: https://www.bts.gov/newsroom/2016-annual-and-december-us-airline-traffic...

Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)
2016 RankCarrier2016 Enplaned Passengers2015 Rank2015 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2015-2016
1American**27,565.0225,013.010.2
2United26,338.9126,147.90.7
3Delta24,078.4323,687.31.7
4British7,161.347,068.31.3
5JetBlue7,018.456,266.312.0
6Lufthansa 5,695.165,529.83.0
7WestJet4,580.574,340.55.5
8Air Canada4,317.083,856.811.9
9Virgin Atlantic3,621.893,589.10.9
10Air France3,508.3103,574.3-1.8
Notes: 

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States.  For U.S. carrier domestic and international service data for 2016, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release: https://www.bts.gov/newsroom/2016-annual-and-december-us-airline-traffic...

** American Airlines 2015 international passenger number includes 3,478.9 thousand passengers reported as US Airways from Jan-Jun 2015. 

Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market

Passenger numbers in thousands (000)
2016 RankAirport2016 Enplaned Passengers2015 Rank2015 Enplaned PassengersPct. Change 2015-2016
1New York JFK15,618.2114,778.35.7
2Los Angeles11,088.339,883.712.2
3Miami9,921.0210,113.4-1.9
4San Francisco6,021.065,442.510.6
5Newark5,914.445,794.22.1
6Chicago O'Hare5,910.955,710.63.5
7Atlanta5,576.275,411.13.1
8Houston Bush5,266.285,142.82.4
9Dallas/Fort Worth3,885.493,765.93.2
10Washington Dulles3,581.9103,484.82.8
Notes: 

* Includes U.S. carrier scheduled domestic and international service and foreign carrier scheduled international service to and from the United States.  For U.S. carrier domestic and international service data for 2016, see the BTS December Air Traffic press release: https://www.bts.gov/newsroom/2016-annual-and-december-us-airline-traffic...

Percentage changes based on numbers prior to rounding.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market

Updated: Wednesday, April 26, 2017