U.S. Airline Industry Performance

Third Quarter 2018 U.S. Airline Financial Data

After-tax net income $3.8 billion in 3Q 2018 (22nd consecutive quarterly after-tax net profit)
An airport flight board - Unsplash
Third Quarter 2018 U.S. Airline Financial Data

Infographic - Third Quarter 2018 U.S. Airline Financial Data

Results for All 21 Scheduled U.S. Passenger Airlines:

Figure 1. Systemwide U.S. Scheduled Service Passenger Airlines Quarterly Net Income billions of dollars ($)Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Schedule P1.2

After-tax net income

  • $3.8 billion in 3Q 2018 (22nd consecutive quarterly after-tax net profit)
  • Up from $3.4 billion in 2Q 2018
  • Up from $3.7 billion in 3Q 2017

Pre-tax operating profit

  • $5.3 billion in 3Q 2018 (30th consecutive quarterly pre-tax operating profit)
  • Down from $5.5 billion in 2Q 2018
  • Down from $6.3 billion in 3Q 2017
  • Total operating revenue: $49.3 billion
    • $36.8 billion from fares, 74.7 percent of total third-quarter operating revenue
    • $1.3 billion in baggage fees, 2.6 percent of total operating revenue
    • $673.0 million from reservation change fees, 1.4 percent of total operating revenue
  • Total operating expenses: $44.0 billion
    • Fuel costs accounted for $9.4 billion, 21.4 percent of total operating expenses
    • Labor costs accounted for $14.3 billion, 32.5 percent of total operating expenses

Fees are included for calculations of net income, operating revenue and operating profit or loss.

Domestic operations, includes 21 U.S. airlines:

Figure 2. Domestic U.S. Scheduled Service Passenger Airlines Quarterly Net Income billions of dollars ($)

After-tax domestic net income

  • $2.4 billion in 3Q 2018 (22nd consecutive quarterly domestic after-tax net profit)
  • Down from $2.5 billion in 2Q 2018
  • Down from $2.6 billion in 3Q 2017

Pre-tax domestic operating profit

  • $3.5 billion in 3Q 2018 (30th consecutive quarterly domestic pre-tax operating profit)
  • Down from $4.1 billion in 2Q 2018
  • Down from $4.7 billion in 3Q 2017
  • Total domestic operating revenue: $36.3 billion
    • $26.0 billion from fares, 71.6 percent of total third-quarter domestic operating revenue
    • $943.5 million in baggage fees, 2.6 percent of total domestic operating revenue
    • $454.7 million from reservation change fees, 1.3 percent of total domestic operating revenue
  • Total domestic operating expenses: $32.7 billion
    • Fuel costs accounted for $6.3 billion, 19.3 percent of total domestic operating expenses
    • Labor costs accounted for $10.4 billion, 31.6 percent of total domestic operating expenses

International operations, includes 17 U.S. airlines:

Figure 3. International U.S. Scheduled Service Passenger Airlines Quarterly Net Income billions of dollars ($)Source: 

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics

After-tax international net income

  • $1.4 billion in 3Q 2018 (15th consecutive quarterly international after-tax net profit)
  • Up from $886.6 million in 2Q 2018
  • Up from $1.1 billion in 3Q 2017

Pre-tax international operating profit

  • $1.7 billion in 3Q 2018 (26th consecutive quarterly international pre-tax operating profit)
  • Up from $1.4 billion in 2Q 2018
  • Up from $1.6 billion in 3Q 2017
  • Total international operating revenue: $13.0 billion
    • $10.9 billion from fares, 83.4 percent of third-quarter international operating revenue
    • $341.5 million in baggage fees, 2.6 percent of international operating revenue
    • $218.3 million from reservation change fees, 1.7 percent of international operating revenue
  • Total international operating expenses: $11.3 billion,
    • Fuel costs accounted for $3.1 billion, 27.6 percent of international operating expenses
    • Labor costs accounted for $3.9 billion, 34.8 percent of international operating expenses



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