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March 29, 2017

2016 Traffic Data for U.S Airlines and Foreign Airlines U.S. Flights

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported that U.S. airlines and foreign airlines serving the United States carried an all-time high of 928.9 million systemwide (domestic and international) scheduled service passengers in 2016, 3.5 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 4.0 percent growth from 2015 in passengers on U.S. and foreign airlines’ flights to and from the U.S. (209.9 million in 2016).

Annual Passengers on All U.S. Scheduled Airline Flights (Domestic & International) and Foreign Airline Flights to and from the United States, 2003-2016

Graph - Annual Passengers on All U.S. Scheduled Airline Flights
SOURCE for Recession Dates: National Bureau of Economic Research, US Business Cycle Expansions and Contractions

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 6.3 percent more passengers to and from the United States than in 2015. The 209.9 million passengers on international flights to and from the United States was a record high, exceeding the previous high set in 2015.

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.

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.

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.

Load Factor and Capacity

From 2015 to 2016, systemwide demand, measured in Revenue Passenger-Miles, (RPMs), grew by 4.7 percent while capacity, measured in Available Seat-Miles (ASMs), grew by 5.0 percent. As a result, load factor, measure of the use of the capacity, fell by 0.2 percent (Table 1).

Demand on international flights, measured in RPMs, rose 4.7 percent in 2016, less than the 4.8 percent rise in capacity measured in ASMs. The result was a decline in the international load factor to 80.5 from 80.6 in 2015.


Copyright 2017 Bureau of Transportation Statistics. All rights reserved. From http://www.bts.gov.
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