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May 25, 2010

U.S. INTERNATIONAL AIR TRAVEL ABROAD FLAT IN FEBRUARY 2010 (1)

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced that the U.S. outbound non-stop air passenger market totaled 2.5 million in February 2010, flat compared to February 2009. The top outbound markets were Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and Asia. Except for Asia, which grew nine percent, all these markets were down in departures along with Central and South America. The Middle East and Oceania experienced the strongest growth in February 2010.

In the first two months of 2010, the outbound air market increased two percent when compared to the same period in 2009, reaching 5.3 million. From July 2009, U.S. air travel abroad has registered month-over-month increases in seven of eight months. In the first two months of 2010, positive growth occurred in five of the eight overseas regions, with Oceania, the Middle East and Africa posting double-digit increases. Outbound travel to Canada was up one percent but down three percent to Mexico.

U.S. spending in February 2010 by U.S. travelers on foreign carrier passenger fares totaled $2.2 billion, down six percent compared to February 2009. For the month, the balance of trade for passenger fares was a $45 million surplus.

Highlights: U.S. Citizen Air Traffic to Overseas Regions, Canada & Mexico

  • Overseas markets increased one percent in February and three percent year to date.
  • Europe declined four percent for the month and decreased two percent for the year.
  • Asia grew nine percent for the month and was up eight percent year to date.
  • Canada increased six percent for the month and grew one percent for the year.
  • The Caribbean decreased one percent in February but increased three percent year to date.
  • For the month, air traffic to Mexico decreased six percent. For the year, air traffic to Mexico decreased three percent.
  • South America was down two percent for the month and year to date.
  • Central America was down three percent for the month and down two percent year to date.
  • The Middle East was up 33 percent in February and 34 percent for the year.
  • Oceania increased 11 percent for the month and 17 percent year to date.
  • Africa increased six percent for the month and 14 percent for the year.

Background
Industry & Analysis’ Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI) collects, analyzes and disseminates international travel and tourism statistics for the U.S. Travel and Tourism Statistical System. To view the OTTI U.S. departure data tables that provide monthly estimates of U.S. air travel abroad by world region and the rate of change each month and year-to-date, please visit: <https://travel.trade.gov/view/m-2010-O-001/index.html>.

For more detail information on the U.S. international travel abroad research program, please visit: <http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/research/programs/i92/index.html>.

U.S. Department of Commerce
International Trade Administration
Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI)
1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 1003
Washington, D.C. 20230
Phone:(202) 482-0140; Fax: (202) 482-2887
Website: <www.tinet.ita.doc.gov>
Email: Otti@trade.gov


(1) Throughout this report, percent changes posted for U.S. air travelers for February 2010 were calculated by comparing data in February 2010 to data in February 2009. Also, percent changes posted for year to date 2010 were calculated by comparing data January February 2010 to data January February 2009.