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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Passengers on All 2020 U.S.-Based Flights Down 62% from 2019

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Release Number: BTS 21-21


U.S. airlines and foreign airlines serving the U.S. carried 398 million systemwide (domestic and international) scheduled service passengers in 2020, 62% fewer than in 2019 when the record high of 1.1 billion annual passengers was reached.

  • Systemwide: 398 million passengers, down 62% from 2019 (1,053M)
  • Domestic: 336 million passengers, down 59% from 2019 (812M)
  • International: 63 million passengers, down 74% from 2019 (242M)

Systemwide passengers are those on all U.S. scheduled airline flights (domestic & international) and foreign airline flights to and from the U.S. Domestic passengers are those on flights from one U.S. airport to another U.S. airport. International passengers are those on flights between a U.S. airport and a foreign airport.



U.S. airlines passengers in 2020

  • Systemwide: 369 million, down 60% from 2019 (927M)
  • Domestic: 336 million, down 59% from 2019 (812M)
  • International* (to and from the U.S.): 34 million, down 71% from 2019 (115M)

*Includes flights from one foreign point to another foreign point (48,512 passengers in 2020)

Foreign airlines passengers in 2020

  • International to and from the U.S.: 29 million, down 77% from 2019 (126M)


Table 1A.  Annual Passengers on U.S. Airlines and on Foreign Airlines’ U.S. Flights 2019-2020

in millions (000,000)

  2019 2020 Change%
U.S Airlines Domestic 811.6 335.5 -58.7
  International 115.5 34.0 -70.5
  Total 926.8 369.5 -60.1
Foreign Airlines To and from U.S 126.5 28.9 -77.2
Systemwide   -1,053.3 398.4 -62.2

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market


This annual release includes data on U.S. airlines scheduled domestic and international service, including from one foreign point to another foreign point (48,512 passengers), and foreign carrier scheduled service to and from the U.S. BTS monthly air traffic releases include data on U.S. carrier scheduled service only.

Airlines with Most Passengers in 2020

  • Systemwide: Southwest Airlines (68M)
  • Domestic: Southwest (67M)
  • International: American Airlines (9M)
  • Foreign airline to and from the U.S.: Volaris (Mexico) (2M)

U.S. Airports with Most Passenger Boardings in 2020

  • Systemwide: Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International (21M)
  • Domestic: Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International (19M)
  • International: New York John F. Kennedy (4M)


Table 1B. 2020 Passengers on U.S. and Foreign Airlines by Origin and Destination

in millions (000,000)

    Domestic Foreign
Origin Domestic U.S. airlines 335.3 Domestic carriers 16.9
Foreign airlines* N/A Foreign Carries 14.4
Foreign U.S. airlines 17.1 Domestic carriers 0.5
Foreign airline 14.4 Foreign Carries* N/A

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

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


For annual airline and airport statistics, see the accompanying tables on the BTS website. Tables 1 through 4 provide combined domestic and international travel statistics, Tables 5 through 8 provide domestic travel statistics and Tables 9 through 12 provide international travel statistics.

Reporting Notes

Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial U.S. and foreign airlines detailing operations, passenger traffic and freight traffic. This release includes data received by BTS from 192 U.S. and foreign airlines as of March 2 for scheduled civilian operations.

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

Complete international data for the full year 2020 will be released on June 10.

None of the data are from samples so measures of statistical significance do not apply. Data in this press release are not seasonally adjusted.