U.S. Airline Industry Performance

2018 Annual and 4th Quarter U.S. Airline Financial Data

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2018 Annual and 4th Quarter U.S. Airline Financial Data


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

U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reported a 2018 after-tax net profit of $11.8 billion, the sixth consecutive annual after tax profit, and a pre-tax operating profit of $17.6 billion, the 10th consecutive annual pre-tax profit.

U.S. airline financial reports are filed quarterly with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). See the tables that accompany this release on the BTS website for additional 2018 annual (Tables 1-6) and fourth-quarter (Tables 7-12) financial results.

2018 Annual Results for All 21 Scheduled Passenger Airlines

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

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Schedule P1.2 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295

After-tax net income

  • $11.8 billion in 2018 (sixth consecutive annual after-tax net profit)
  • Down from $15.3 billion in 2017

Pre-tax operating profit

  • $17.6 billion in 2018 (10th consecutive annual pre-tax operating profit)
  • Down from $21.4 billion in 2017
  • Total operating revenue: $187.5 billion
    • $139.0 billion from fares, 74.2% of total 2018 operating revenue
    • $4.9 billion in baggage fees, 2.6% of total operating revenue
    • $2.7 billion from reservation change fees, 1.4% of total operating revenue
  • Total operating expenses: $169.8 billion
    • Fuel costs accounted for $34.5 billion, 20.3% of total operating expenses
    • Labor costs accounted for $56.1 billion, 33.0% of total operating expenses

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

Domestic results for 21 scheduled airlines

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

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Schedule P1.2 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295

After-tax domestic net income

  • $8.6 billion in 2018 (sixth consecutive annual domestic after-tax net profit)
  • Down from $13.2 billion in 2017

Pre-tax domestic operating profit

  • $13.2 billion in 2018 (10th consecutive annual domestic pre-tax operating profit)
  • Down from $17.8 billion in 2017

International results for 17 scheduled U.S. airlines

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

 Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Schedule P1.2 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295

After-tax international net income

  • $3.2 billion in 2018 (ninth consecutive annual international after-tax net profit)
  • Up from $2.1 billion in 2017

Pre-tax international operating profit

  • $4.4 billion in 2018 (10th consecutive annual international pre-tax operating profit)
  • Up from $3.6 billion in 2017

4Q 2018 Results for All 21 Scheduled U.S. Passenger Airlines

Figure 4. Systemwide U.S. Scheduled Service Passenger Airlines Quarterly Net Income, 4Q 2018 billions of dollars ($)Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Schedule P1.2 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295

After-tax net income

  • $2.9 billion in 4Q 2018 (23rd consecutive quarterly after-tax net profit)
  • Down from $3.8 billion in 3Q 2018
  • Down from $5.0 billion in 4Q 2017
  • $2.4 billion from domestic operations, $545.6 million from international operations

Pre-tax operating profit

  • $3.9 billion in 4Q 2018 (31st consecutive quarterly pre-tax operating profit)
  • Down from $5.3 billion in 3Q 2018
  • Down from $4.1 billion in 4Q 2017
  • $3.2 billion from domestic operations, $702.7 million from international operations



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