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BTS Statistics Release: July 2017 U.S. Airline Traffic Data

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today that U.S. airlines’ July systemwide (domestic and international) scheduled service passenger enplanements rose 0.8 percent from June, rising for the seven consecutive month to 71.6 million, to reach a new all-time seasonally-adjusted high.

From June 2017 to July 2017 enplanements on domestic flights increased 0.9 percent while enplanements on U.S. international flights to and from the U.S. rose 0.3 percent resulting in a 0.8 systemwide increase.

In one year, from July 2016 to July 2017, enplanements on domestic flights increased 4.8 percent while enplanements on U.S. airlines’ international flights to and from the U.S. rose 5.7 percent, resulting in a 4.9 systemwide increase.

In three years, from July 2014 to July 2017, enplanements on domestic flights increased 12.9 percent while enplanements on U.S. airlines’ international flights to and from the U.S. rose 10.3 percent, resulting in a 12.6 systemwide increase.

In unadjusted numbers for July, systemwide, domestic and international enplanements all reached all-time highs for any month.

Trends (Percent changes based on unrounded numbers)

Seasonally-adjusted

The following seasonally-adjusted measures of U.S. airlines July air traffic reached all-time highs:

  • Systemwide passenger enplanements (71.6 million) reached a new seasonally-adjusted all-time high, up 0.8 percent from the previous high in June 2017 (71.1 million).
     
  • Domestic passenger enplanements (62.5 million) reached a new seasonally-adjusted all-time high, up 0.9 percent from the previous high in June 2017 (61.9 million).
     
  • International passenger enplanements (9.18 million) reached a new seasonally-adjusted all-time high, up 0.3 percent from the previous high in June 2017 (9.15 million).
     
  • Systemwide revenue passenger miles (RPMs) (81.5 billion) reached a new seasonally-adjusted all-time high, up 0.7 percent from the previous high in June 2017 (81.0 billion).
     
  • Domestic RPMs (57.8) reached a new seasonally-adjusted all-time high, up 1.0 percent from the previous high reached in June 2017 (57.3 billion). 
     
  • Systemwide available seat-miles (ASMs) (97.4 billion) reached a new seasonally-adjusted all-time high, up 0.4 percent from the previous high in June 2017 (97.0 billion).
     
  • Domestic ASMs (68.2 billion) reached a new seasonally-adjusted all-time high, up 0.6 percent from the previous high in June 2017 (67.8 billion).

International RPMs and international ASMs declined from July to June:

  • International RPMs (23.7 billion) were down 0.3 percent from the all-time seasonally-adjusted high (23.8 billion) reached in April 2017.
     
  • International ASMs (29.10 billion) were down less than 0.1 from the all-time seasonally-adjusted high (29.14 billion) reached in June 2017.

Systemwide load factor (83.7) was down 0.9 points from the all-time seasonally-adjusted high (84.7) reached in October 2015. Domestic load factor (84.8) was down 1.0 points from the all-time seasonally-adjusted high (85.8) reached in October 2015. International load factor (81.3) was down 1.7 points from the all-time seasonally-adjusted high (83.0) reached in March 2013 (Table 12).

Load factor is a measure of the use of aircraft capacity that compares the system use, measured in RPMs as a proportion of system capacity, measured in ASMs.

The seasonally-adjusted load factor rose from June (83.5) to July (83.7) because passenger travel grew faster (0.7 percent increase in RPMs) than system capacity (0.4 percent increase in ASMs).

Seasonally adjusted trends are for the time period January 2000 to present. Additional data, including domestic and international numbers, can be found on the seasonally-adjusted data page.

Unadjusted

The following unadjusted measures of U.S. airlines July air traffic reached all-time highs for any month:

  • Systemwide passenger enplanements (79.8 million) reached an all-time high for any month, up 3.7 percent from the previous high (76.9 million) reached in June 2017.
     
  • Domestic passenger enplanements (68.5 million) reached an all-time high for any month, up 2.8 percent from the previous high (66.7 million) reached in June 2017.
     
  • International passenger enplanements (11.2 million) reached an all-time high for any month, up 4.6 percent from the previous high (10.8 million) reached in July 2016.
     
  • Systemwide RPMs (94.1 billion) reached an all-time high for any month, up 3.8 percent from the previous high (90.6 billion) reached in July 2016.
     
  • Domestic RPMs (65.0 billion) reached an all-time high for any month, up 4.1 percent from the previous high (62.5 billion) reached in June 2017.
     
  • International RPMs (29.1 billion) reached an all-time high for any month, up 2.8 percent from the previous high (28.3 billion) reached in July 2016.
     
  • Systemwide ASMs (108.6 billion) reached an all-time high for any month, up 4.1 percent from the previous high (104.4 billion) reached in July 2016.
     
  • Domestic ASMs (74.8 billion) reached an all-time high for any month, up 4.4 percent from the previous high (71.7 billion) reached in June 2017.
     
  • International ASMs (33.8 billion) reached an all-time high for any month, up 2.9 percent from the previous high (32.9 billion) reached in July 2016.

Systemwide load factor (86.6) was down 0.8 points from the all-time July high and the high for any month (87.4) reached in 2015. Domestic load factor (86.9) was down 1.2 points from the all-time July high and the high for any month (88.1) reached in 2015. International load factor (85.9) was down 1.0 points from the all-time July high and the high for any month (86.9) reached in 2013.           

Unadjusted trends are for the time period January 1996 to present. Data are available at Customize Table and can be downloaded from the seasonally-adjusted data page.

See Air Traffic Release for summary tables and additional data. Additional traffic data can be found on the BTS Airlines and Airports page. Click on a link in the Quick Links box on the right. See Load factor, RPMs, ASMs and Passengers. For more historical data, see Traffic on the BTS website. See Seasonal Adjustment for methodology and additional explanation. See data for airline data since 2000 as well as seasonally-adjusted data for rail, transit, pipelines, trucking, and waterways.

Updated: Friday, October 13, 2017
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