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 Find the latest Coronavirus-related transportation statistics on the BTS COVID-19 landing page.

United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

September 2020 U.S. Airline Traffic Data

Thursday, December 10, 2020
Date: Thursday, December 10, 2020

U.S. airlines carried 27.1 million systemwide (domestic and international) scheduled service passengers in September 2020, seasonally-adjusted, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), up 14.1% from August.

BTS reported 25.5 million domestic passengers and 1.6 million international passengers on U.S. airlines’ flights in September.

Figure 1. Monthly Passengers on U.S. Scheduled Airlines (Domestic + International), Seasonally Adjusted, September 2017 - September 2020

Passengers in millions (Seasonally adjusted) 1
Sep-17 69.4 2
Oct-17 72.0 3
Nov-17 72.3 4
Dec-17 72.3 5
Jan-18 72.5 6
Feb-18 73.8 7
Mar-18 73.1 8
Apr-18 73.8 9
May-18 73.7 10
Jun-18 74.4 11
Jul-18 74.4 12
Aug-18 74.3 13
Sep-18 73.9 14
Oct-18 75.1 15
Nov-18 74.8 16
Dec-18 75.8 17
Jan-19 75.0 18
Feb-19 75.9 19
Mar-19 77.1 20
Apr-19 76.6 21
May-19 76.9 22
Jun-19 77.3 23
Jul-19 77.3 24
Aug-19 77.5 25
Sep-19 78.0 26
Oct-19 77.7 27
Nov-19 79.0 28
Dec-19 78.7 29
Jan-20 79.6 30
Feb-20 78.7 31
Mar-20 37.7 32
Apr-20 3.0 33
May-20 8.0 34
Jun-20 15.4 35
Jul-20 21.2 36
Aug-20 23.8 37
Sep-20 27.1 38
39

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

 

September seasonally-adjusted

  • System-wide enplanements (27.1M) were down 66% from the all-time high of 79.6 million reached in January 2020.
  • Domestic enplanements (25.5M) were down 63.5% from the all-time high of 69.8 million reached in January 2020.
  • International enplanements (1.58M) were down 83.8% from the all-time high of 9.81 million reached in January 2020.

 

September unadjusted

  • Systemwide enplanements (25.25M) were down 65.2% from the all-time September high (72.6M) reached in 2019 and down 0.2% from August 2020 (25.29M).
  • Domestic enplanements (23.9M) were down 62.7% from the all-time September high (64.0M) reached in 2019 and down 0.3% from August 2020 (23.8M).
  • International enplanements (1.38M) were down 83.7% from the all-time September high (8.61M) reached in 2019 but up 1.6% from August 2020 (1.40M).

 

 

Table A. Seasonally Adjusted Passenger Enplanements Compared to Previous Time Periods
Percent Change Compared to
Seasonally Adjusted
Passengers (in
millions)
Previous
Month
Two Years
Previous
Three Years Previous
September27.114.1%-65.2%-61.0%

 

Table B. Unadjusted Passenger Enplanements Compared to Previous Time Periods
Percent Change Compared to
Unadjusted
Passenger (in
millions)
Previous
Year
Two Years
Previous
Three Years
Previous
September25.3-65.2%-63.2%-61.1%

 

 

For data filed through September, see accompanying tables on the BTS website. 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 67 U.S. carriers as of Dec. 1 for U.S. carrier scheduled civilian operations.

 

BTS is withholding the scheduled release of estimated U.S. airlines’ traffic data for November and December because the estimates are statistical forecasts based on previous trends. The estimates do not account for the impact of the coronavirus.

 

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

 

BTS has scheduled Jan. 15 for the release of data through October.

 

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