Airline Traffic Data

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Estimated January 2020 U.S. Airline Traffic Data

Release Number: 
BTS 07-20
Date: Thursday, February 13, 2020
 

U.S. airlines carried an estimated 78.6 million systemwide (domestic and international) scheduled service passengers in January 2020, reaching a new seasonally-adjusted all-time high, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS) first estimate, up 0.1% from the December second estimate.

BTS estimated 68.9 million domestic passengers and 9.7 million international passengers on U.S. airlines flights in January. The domestic passenger numbers were a seasonally-adjusted all-time high.

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.

This release is a statistical estimate for December 2019 and January 2020 based on U.S. airlines reported data through November. The estimates for January that are based on November data do not account for the travel impacts of the coronavirus. BTS will release a second estimate of U.S. airlines January air traffic on March 12, followed by a release of the reported data on April 16.

Passengers in millions (Seasonally Adjusted)
Jan-1770.1
Feb-1769.8
Mar-1770.1
Apr-1770.5
May-1770.7
Jun-1770.5
Jul-1771.1
Aug-1771.1
Sep-1769.2
Oct-1772.0
Nov-1772.3
Dec-1772.3
Jan-1872.3
Feb-1873.3
Mar-1873.4
Apr-1874.0
May-1873.9
Jun-1874.7
Jul-1874.8
Aug-1874.5
Sep-1873.4
Oct-1875.0
Nov-1874.9
Dec-1875.4
Jan-1974.7
Feb-1975.2
Mar-1977.7
Apr-1976.7
May-1977.4
Jun-1977.8
Jul-1977.9
Aug-1977.7
Sep-1977.2
Oct-1977.7
Nov-1978.2
Dec-1978.5
Jan-2078.6
Notes: 

Most recent two months estimated

Four measures of U.S. airlines passenger enplanements

Estimated January seasonally-adjusted

  • System-wide enplanements (78.6M) reached an all-time, seasonally-adjusted, high based on the estimate compared to reported data through November and estimate for December.
  • Domestic enplanements (68.9M) reached an all-time, seasonally-adjusted, high based on the estimate compared to reported data through November and estimate for December.
  • International enplanements (9.74M) were down 0.2% from the all-time, seasonally-adjusted, reported high of 9.75 million reached in June 2019.

Reported November seasonally-adjusted

  • System-wide enplanements (78.2M) were down 0.5% from the all-time, seasonally-adjusted reported high of 78.6 million reached in January 2020.
  • Domestic enplanements (68.5M) were down 0.5% from the all-time, seasonally-adjusted reported high of 68.9 million reached in January 2020.
  • International enplanements (9.67M) were down 0.9% from the all-time, seasonally-adjusted reported high of 9.75 million reached in June 2019.

Estimated January unadjusted

  • Systemwide enplanements (70.5M) reached a new estimated all-time high for the month of January.
  • Domestic enplanements (61.4M) reached a new estimated all-time high for the month of January.
  • International enplanements (9.17M) reached a new estimated all-time high for the month of January.

Reported November unadjusted

  • Systemwide enplanements (73.1M) were up 0.5% from the previous all-time November reported high (72.7M) reached in 2018.
  • Domestic enplanements (64.8M) were up 0.2% from the previous all-time November reported high (64.7M) reached in 2018.
  • International enplanements (8.26M) were up 2.2% from the previous all-time November reported high (8.08M) reached in 2018.
Seasonally AdjustedPassengers (in millions)Percent Change Compared to
Previous MonthPrevious YearThree Years Previous
January estimate78.60.1%5.2%12.2%
November reported78.20.6%0.0%12.5%
UnadjustedPassengers (in millions)Percent Change Compared to
Previous YearTwo Years PreviousThree Years Previous
January estimate70.55.3%9.5%12.6%
November reported73.10.0%4.9%9.7%

Revised Annual

For the full year 2019, January through December, U.S. airlines carried 926.1 million passengers, revised from the first estimate of 925.5 million in last month’s release. The annual total was the highest based on comparable records since 2003. The annual number has reached a new high for five consecutive years. The revised 2019 estimated passenger total is up 4.2% from 2018, up 9.0% from 2017 and up 12.4% from 2016. Numbers are unadjusted with 2019 consisting of 11 months reported data and one month estimated.

Passengers in millions, unadjusted (000,000)
U.S. Airline Jan-Dec Passengers
2003647
2004704
2005739
2006745
2007770
2008743
2009704
2010720
2011731
2012737
2013743
2014763
2015798
2016824
2017849
2018889
2019 (est)926

For the December and January estimates and for data filed through November, see accompanying tables. For the complete database of reported data, see Traffic. For an explanation of BTS’ seasonal adjustment methodology, see Seasonal Adjustment.

BTS Estimates

For seasonally-adjusted passenger numbers, BTS first estimates have averaged within 0.8% of reported data while second estimates have averaged within 0.6% of reported data.

For unadjusted passenger numbers, BTS first estimates have averaged within 1.0% of reported data while second estimates have averaged within 0.7% of reported data.

For an explanation of BTS’ estimate methodology see Air Traffic Methodology.

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 73 U.S. carriers as of Feb. 4 for U.S. carrier scheduled civilian operations.

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

BTS has scheduled March 12 for the release of the first estimate of February air traffic data, the second estimate of January air traffic data and reported data through December.

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

Updated: Friday, February 14, 2020