U.S. Airline Traffic Data

August 2019 U.S. Airline Traffic Data

A man at a departure gate
August 2019 U.S. Airline Traffic Data

U.S. airlines carried an estimated 78.2 million systemwide (domestic and international) scheduled service passengers in August 2019, seasonally-adjusted, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ (BTS) first estimate, up 0.3% from the July second estimate.

Infographic - August 2019 U.S. Airline Traffic Data

The BTS estimate of the August enplanement total of 78.2 million was a seasonally-adjusted all-time high.

BTS estimated 68.5 million domestic passengers and 9.8 million international passengers on U.S. airlines in August.

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 based on U.S. airlines reported data through June. BTS will release a second estimate of U.S. airlines August air traffic on Oct 10, followed by a release of the reported data on Nov 15.

Figure 1. Monthly Passengers on U.S. Scheduled Airlines (Domestic + International), Seasonally Adjusted, Aug 2016 - Aug 2019 (July 2019-Aug 2019 estimated) Passengers in millions (Seasonally Adjusted)Notes: 

Most recent two months estimated

Four measures of U.S. airlines passenger enplanements

Seasonally-adjusted August estimate

  • System-wide enplanements reached a new all-time, seasonally-adjusted, high based on the estimate compared to reported data through June and estimate for July.
  • Domestic enplanements reached a new all-time, seasonally-adjusted, high based on the estimate compared to reported data through June and estimate for July.
  • International enplanements were down 0.1% from the seasonally-adjusted all-time reported high of 9.78 million reached in June 2019.
  • Systemwide load factor (85.6) declined after reaching an all-time estimated high in July (86.2). Domestic load factor (86.4) declined after reaching an all-time estimated high in July (87.2). International load factor (83.5) declined from the all-time reported high in May 2019 (84.7).

Seasonally-adjusted June reported

  • System-wide enplanements (78.0M) were up 0.3% from the seasonally-adjusted all-time reported high of 77.7 million reached in March 2019.
  • Domestic enplanements (68.2M) were up 0.1% from the seasonally-adjusted all-time reported high of 68.1 million reached in March 2019.
  • International enplanements (9.78M) were up 0.6% from the seasonally-adjusted all-time reported high of 9.72 million reached in May 2019.
  • Systemwide (85.8) and Domestic (86.7) load factors reached an all-time reported high. International load factor (83.6) declined from the all-time reported high in May 2019 (84.7).

Unadjusted August estimate

  • Systemwide enplanements (84.2M) reached a new estimated all-time high for the month of August.
  • Domestic enplanements (73.0M) reached a new estimated all-time high for the month of August.
  • International enplanements (11.20) reached a new estimated all-time high for the month of August.
  • Systemwide load factor (87.6) declined from both June (88.8), reported, and July (88.6), estimated. Domestic load factor (87.6) declined from both reported June (89.3) and estimated July (88.9). International load factor (87.6) declined from both reported June (87.8) and estimated July (87.9).

Unadjusted June reported

  • Systemwide enplanements (83.8M) reached a new reported all-time high for the month of June.
  • Domestic enplanements (72.8M) reached a new reported all-time high for the month of June.
  • International enplanements (11.05M) reached a new reported all-time high for the month of June.
  • Systemwide (88.8), Domestic (89.3) and International (87.8 load factors reached all-time highs for any reported month.

Table A. Seasonally Adjusted Estimated and Reported Passenger Enplanements Compared to Previous Time Periods, August Estimate

Table A. Seasonally Adjusted Estimated and Reported Passenger Enplanements Compared to Previous Time Periods

Seasonally Adjusted Passengers (in millions) Percent Change Compared to

Previous Month Previous Year Three Years Previous
August estimate 78.2 0.3% 4.7% 15.2%
June reported 78.0 0.6% 4.1% 13.4%

Table B. Unadjusted Estimated and Reported Passenger Enplanements Compared to Previous Time Periods, August Estimate

Table B. Unadjusted Estimated and Reported Passenger Enplanements Compared to Previous Time Periods

Unadjusted Passengers (in millions) Percent Change Compared to

Previous Year Two Years Previous Three Years Previous
August estimate 84.2 3.9% 9.2% 14.6%
June reported 83.8 3.6% 8.8% 12.5%

Year-to-Date

For the first eight months of 2019, January through August, U.S. airlines carried 623.4 million passengers, the highest total based on comparable records since 2003. The January-August number has reached a new high for five consecutive years. The 2019 eight-month number is up 4.0% from 2018, up 9.0% from 2017 and up 12.6% from 2016.

Figure 2. January-August Passengers on U.S. Airlines - 2003-2019 Passengers in millions, unadjusted (000,000)

For the July and August estimates and for data filed through June, 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.



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