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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

U.S. Airlines January 2021 Passengers Decreased 63% from January 2020 (Preliminary)

Friday, March 12, 2021

Release Number: BTS 19-21

 

   

U.S. airlines carried 63% fewer scheduled service passengers in January 2021 (preliminary) than in January 2020, according to data filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) by 20 airlines that carry more than 90% of the passengers.

The large airlines carried 25.8 million passengers in January 2021 (preliminary), compared to 70.5 million passengers in January 2020 and up from 3.0 million in April 2020, which was the lowest monthly total in BTS records dating back to 1974. The previous low was 14.6 million passengers in February 1975.

 

 

Preliminary January 2021 passenger numbers (20 carriers reporting):

  • Total: 25.8 million passengers, down 63% from January 2020 (70.5M)
  • Domestic: 22.9 million passengers, down 63% from January 2020 (61.4M)
  • International: 3.0 million passengers, down 68% from January 2020 (9.1M)

U.S. airline traffic reports are filed monthly with BTS. Final January data will be released on April 15. Complete international data by origin and destination, which is under a six-month confidentiality restriction, will be released on July 16.

 

Systemwide Passengers
January 2021 passengers: 25.8M
Change from January 2020: -63%
Percent of 2020 passengers: 37%
Change from April 2020 low: +22.9M passengers

 

Table 1: Systemwide Percent Change in U.S. Airlines Scheduled Service Passengers from the Same Month of the Previous Year, 2017-2021

 

Year-to-Year Percent Change

 

2017 - 2018

2018 - 2019

2019 - 2020

2020 - 2021

January

3.0

5.2

5.7

-63.3*

February

5.8

4.2

6.7

 

March

4.6

6.4

-51.3

 

April

6.0

3.9

-96.1

 

May

6.1

5.3

-89.6

 

June

6.2

3.7

-80.2

 

July

6.4

3.7

-72.4

 

August

6.3

3.5

-69.8

September

7.1

5.7

-65.2

October

5.0

4.2

-61.8

November

5.7

0.5

-60.7

 

December

4.8

8.9

-61.5

 

Annual

5.6

4.6

-60.1

 

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market

*January 2021 data is preliminary

 

Domestic Passengers
January 2021 passengers: 22.9M
Change from January 2020: -63%
Percent of 2020 passengers: 37%
Change from April 2020 low: +20M passengers
Domestic percent of total January 2021 passengers: 89%
Domestic percent of total January 2020 passengers: 87%

 

Table 2: Domestic Percent Change in U.S. Airlines Scheduled Service Passengers from the Same Month of the Previous Year, 2017-2021

 

Year-to-Year Percent Change

 

2017 - 2018

2018 - 2019

2019 - 2020

2020 - 2021

January

3.3

5.3

6.2

-62.7*

February

6.0

4.2

7.5

 

March

4.2

6.7

-51.0

 

April

7.0

3.8

-95.7

 

May

6.6

5.3

-88.5

 

June

6.6

3.6

-77.8

 

July

7.2

3.9

-69.6

 

August

6.9

3.5

-67.1

 

September

7.2

5.9

-62.7

 

October

5.0

4.3

-59.9

 

November

5.8

0.3

-59.4

 

December

5.0

9.6

-60.9

 

Annual

5.9

4.6

-58.7

 

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market

* January 2021 data is preliminary

 

International Passengers
January 2021 passengers: 3.0M
Change from January 2020: -68%
Percent of 2020 passengers: 32%
Change from April 2020 low: +2.8M passengers
International percent of total January 2021 passengers: 11%
International percent of total January 2020 passengers: 13%

 

Table 3: International Percent Change in U.S. Airlines Scheduled Service Passengers from the Same Month of the Previous Year, 2017-2021

 

Year-to-Year Percent Change

 

2017 - 2018

2018 - 2019

2019 - 2020

2020 - 2021

January

1.3

4.8

2.1

-67.6*

February

4.8

3.8

1.0

 

March

7.4

3.8

-53.3

 

April

-0.6

4.7

-98.6

 

May

2.7

5.7

-98.1

 

June

3.7

4.3

-96.4

 

July

1.9

2.3

-90.4

 

August

2.5

3.9

-87.5

September

6.3

4.7

-83.7

 

October

4.6

3.4

-77.3

 

November

5.0

2.4

-70.3

 

December

3.6

4.0

-66.0

 

Annual

3.5

4.0

-70.4

 

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market

* January 2021 data is preliminary

 

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 U.S. airlines as of March 5.

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

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