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U.S. Airlines November 2020 Passengers Decreased 61% from November 2019 (Preliminary)

Release Number: 
02-21
Date: Tuesday, January 12, 2021

U.S. airlines carried 61% fewer scheduled service passengers in November 2020 than in November 2019 (preliminary), according to data filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) by 21 airlines that carry more than 90% of the passengers. The 61% decline from November 2019 was the smallest year-to-year decrease since March.

The large airlines carried 28.5 million passengers in November 2020 (preliminary), compared to 72.8 million passengers in November 2019 and 3.0 million in April 2020, which was the lowest monthly total in BTS records dating back to 1974. The previous record low was 14.6 million passengers in February 1975.

Preliminary November 2020 passenger numbers (21 carriers reporting):

  • Total: 28.5 million passengers, down 61% from November 2019 (72.8M)
  • Domestic: 26.1 million passengers, down 60% from November 2019 (64.6M)
  • International: 2.4 million passengers, down 70% from November 2019 (8.2M)

U.S. airline traffic reports are filed monthly with BTS. Final November data will be released on Feb. 11. Complete international data by origin and destination, which is under a six-month confidentiality restriction, will be released on May 13.

Systemwide Passengers

November 2020 passengers:  28.5M
Change from November 2019:  -61%
November 2020 passengers as percent of November 2019 passengers:  39%
Change from April 2020 low: +25.5M passengers
 
Table 1: Systemwide Percent Change in US Airlines Scheduled Service Passengers from the Same Month of the Previous Year, 2016-2020
Year-to-Year Percent Change
 2016-20172017-20182018-20192019-2020
January3.83.05.25.7
February0.65.84.26.7
March4.24.66.4-51.3
April5.26.03.9-96.1
May3.76.15.3-89.6
June3.96.23.7-80.2
July4.46.43.7-72.4
August5.66.33.5-69.8
September-1.97.15.7-65.2
October5.15.04.2-61.8
November5.05.70.5-60.8*
December3.94.88.9 
Annual3.75.64.6 
Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market
* November 2020 data is preliminary
 
Domestic Passengers
November 2020 passengers:  26.1M
Change from November 2019:  -60%
November 2020 passengers as percent of November 2019 passengers:  40%
Change from April 2020 low: +23.2M passengers
Domestic percent of total November 2020 passengers:  91%
Domestic percent of total November 2019 passengers:  89%
 
Table 2: Domestic Percent Change in US Airlines Scheduled Service Passengers from the Same Month of the Previous Year, 2016-2020
Year-to-Year Percent Change
 2016-20172017-20182018-20192019-2020
January3.93.35.36.2
February0.76.04.27.5
March4.74.26.7-51.0
April4.57.03.8-95.7
May3.46.65.3-88.5
June3.66.63.6-77.8
July4.27.23.9-69.6
August5.66.93.5-67.1
September-2.17.25.9-62.7
October5.25.04.3-59.9
November5.05.80.3-59.6*
December4.25.09.6 
Annual3.65.94.6 
Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market
* November 2020 data is preliminary
 
 
International Passengers
November 2020 passengers:  2.4M
Change from November 2019:  -70%
November 2020 passengers as percent of November 2019 passengers: 30%
Change from April 2020 low: +2.3M passengers
International percent of total November 2020 passengers:  9%
International percent of total November 2019 passengers:  11%
 
Table 3: International Percent Change in US Airlines Scheduled Service Passengers from the Same Month of the Previous Year, 2016-2020
Year-to-Year Percent Change
 2016-20172017-20182018-20192019-2020
January3.11.34.82.1
February-0.34.83.81.0
March1.17.43.8-53.3
April10.6-0.64.7-98.6
May6.22.75.7-98.1
June5.93.74.3-96.4
July5.11.92.3-90.4
August5.62.53.9-87.5
September-0.36.34.7-83.7
October3.94.63.4-77.3
November5.85.02.4-70.3*
December2.03.64.0 
Annual4.13.54.0 
Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market
* November 2020 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 Jan. 6.

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

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

Updated: Tuesday, January 12, 2021