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TI News: An information service from the Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI)

November 30, 2012

September 2012 U.S.-International Air Passenger Traffic Was 14.3 Million, Up 6 Percent

September Year-to-Date Total U.S.-International Air Traffic Up Eight Percent
Foreign Citizen and Foreign Flag Traffic Growth Again Outpaced U.S. Citizens and Carriers

Performance metrics reported are:

  • Total air travel (arrivals + departures),
  • U.S. citizen and foreign citizen air travelers,
  • U.S. flag and foreign flag carriers,
  • Top U.S. and foreign airports.

Summary of January through September 2012:

International air traffic to/from the United States (1) totaled 135.7 million passengers from January through September 2012, an eight percent increase over the first nine months of 2011.

U.S. citizen air travel (61.1 million) increased four percent and comprised 45 percent of all air traffic. Foreign national (non-U.S. citizen) air travelers (74.6 million) increased by 10 percent, increasing share of the total market from 54 to 55 percent.

U.S. airlines carried 73.3 million passengers, up five percent, however their share dropped one percentage point to 54 percent. Foreign flags carried 62.3 million passengers, up 11 percent from January-September 2011, with their share increasing to 46 percent.

U.S. - International Passengers (mlns) % Chg y-o-y Market Share % Pt change
   U.S. Citizens 61.056 4% 45% -1
   Foreign Nationals 74.606 10% 55% +1
         
   U.S. Flag Carriers (2) 73.345 5% 54% -1
   Foreign Flag Carriers 62.317 11% 46% +1

September air traffic was up six percent from September 2011, disclosing slower growth.

International is the total of overseas, Canada and Mexico regions, as follows:

Overseas air traffic accounted for 101.9 million passengers, 75 percent of all international air traffic for year-to-date.

U.S. citizen travel (46.7 million) increased five percent and comprised 46 percent of all overseas air traffic. Foreign national air travelers (55.2 million) increased by 10 percent, increasing market share to 54 percent, a one percentage point increase in share between 2011 and 2012.

U.S. airlines carried 52.9 million passengers, up six percent, and their share decreased from 53 to 52 percent. Foreign flags carried 49.0 million passengers, up 10 percent from the first nine months of 2011. Their traffic share increased to 48 percent.

U.S. - Overseas Regions Passengers (mlns) % Chg y-o-y Market Share % Pt change
   U.S. Citizens 46.723 5% 46% -1
   Foreign Nationals 55.192 10% 54% +1
         
   U.S. Flag Carriers 52.891 6% 52% -1
   Foreign Flag Carriers 49.024 10% 48% +1

Total air traffic to/from overseas regions for the year performed as follows:

Overseas Regions Passengers (mlns) % Chg from
Sep 2011 year-to-date
   Europe    41.298    5%
   Asia    20.239    13%
   Caribbean    14.844    7%
   South America    9.885    8%
   Central America    6.913    11%
   Middle East    4.654    10%
   Oceania    3.009    8%
   Africa    1.072    13%
   Total Overseas    101.914   

North American markets (Canada and Mexico) accounted for 25 percent of U.S. international air traffic flows.

U.S.-Canada air traffic accounted for 18.8 million passengers, 14 percent of all international traffic, and was up seven percent year-to-date.

U.S. citizen travel (5.1 million) increased five percent and comprised only 27 percent of air traffic in the market. Canadian and other foreign national citizen air travelers (13.7 million) increased by eight percent with their market share resulting at 73 percent.

U.S. flags carried 8.8 million passengers, up two percent, and their share dropped from 49 to 47 percent. Foreign flags carried 10.0 million passengers, up 12 percent increasing their share to 53 percent.

U.S. - Canada Passengers (mlns) % Chg y-o-y Market Share % Pt change
   U.S. Citizens 5.138 5% 27% -1
   Foreign Nationals 13.692 8% 73% +1
         
   U.S. Flag Carriers 8.786 2% 47% -2
   Foreign Flag Carriers 10.044 12% 53% +2

U.S. - Mexico air traffic accounted for 14.9 million passengers, 11 percent of all U.S. - international traffic, and was up six percent.

U.S. citizen travel (9.2 million) increased three percent and comprised 62 percent of all air traffic. Foreign national air travelers (5.7 million) increased by 13 percent increasing their market share to 38 percent.

U.S. flags carried 11.7 million passengers, up two percent from last year, and their share dropped from 82 to 78 percent. Foreign flags carried 3.2 million passengers, up 28 percent increasing share to 22 percent.

U.S. - Mexico Passengers (mlns) % Chg y-o-y Market Share % Pt change
   U.S. Citizens 9.194 3% 62% -2
   Foreign Nationals 5.723 13% 38% +2
         
   U.S. Flag Carriers 11.667 2% 78% -4
   Foreign Flag Carriers 3.249 28% 22% +4

Top 10 Foreign Airports (Passenger Traffic to/from U.S.) September 2012 YTD:
Accounted for 40 Percent of U.S. - International Air Traffic, the same as August 2012 YTD
Paris/de Gaulle (CDG) moved above Cancun (CUN)

    Passengers (millions)
1. London Heathrow (LHR) 10.756
2. Toronto (YYZ) 7.856
3. Tokyo Narita (NRT) 7.228
4. Frankfurt (FRT) 5.093
5. Paris/de Gaulle (CDG) 4.762
6. Cancun (CUN) 4.493
7. Mexico City (MEX) 3.978
8. Incheon (ICT) 3.568
9. Vancouver (YVR) 3.455
10. Amsterdam (AMS) 3.373
    54.563

Top 10 U.S. Airports (Passenger Traffic to/from Foreign Airports) September 2012 YTD:
Accounted for 70 Percent of All U.S. - International Air Traffic

    Passengers (Millions)
1. New York (JFK) 19.423
2. Miami (MIA) 14.395
3. Los Angeles (LAX) 13.043
4. Newark (EWR) 8.906
5. Chicago (ORD) 8.171
6. Atlanta (ATL) 7.532
7. San Francisco (SFO) 7.163
8. Houston (IAH) 6.695
9. Washington Dulles (IAD) 5.092
10. Dallas-Ft Worth (DFW) 4.507
    94.928

Top 10 Airlines Serving U.S. International Non-Stop Markets September 2012 YTD:
Accounted for 62 Percent of All U.S. - International Air Traffic
Up from 60 Percent August 2012 YTD

    Passengers
(Millions)
 
1. United Airlines (UA/CO)* 22.483  
2. American Airlines (AA) 16.617  
3. Delta Air Lines (DL) 15.561  
4. US Airways (US) 6.246  
5. British Airways (BA) 5.071 BA moved ahead of AC
6. Air Canada (AC) 5.025  
7. Lufthansa (LH) 4.004  
8. Jet Blue Airways (JB) 3.216  
9. Air France (AF) 2.717 AF moved ahead of WJ
10. West Jet (WJ) 2.647  
    72.382  

* United Airlines and Continental merged operations on March 7th

In the near future OTTI will publish the September 2012 U.S. Citizen Outbound report, which contains total monthly travel (all modes) to Canada and Mexico.
See: https://travel.trade.gov/view/m-2012-O-001/index.html.

A description of OTTI’s program based on DHS APIS/ “I-92” data: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/research/programs/i92/index.html includes subscription prices for detailed country and port level reports which are available in Excel and Adobe. See actual report: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/research/programs/i92/2006_I92_Air_Travel_Statistics.pdf

U.S. Department of Commerce
International Trade Administration
Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI)
1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 10003
Washington, D.C. 20230
Phone: (202) 482-0140
Website: www.tinet.ita.doc.gov
Email: otti@trade.gov


(1) This reflects non-stop air-only data. A portion of the non-stop passenger traffic to Europe will not ‘visit’ Europe, but will connect through one of Europe’s airline hubs (LHR, AMS, FRA, CDG, MAD, etc.) to Africa and the Middle East. The adjustment to these regions, reflecting visitation (1+ nights), occurs after year-end data is compiled.

(2) Numbers for U.S. carriers slightly exceed what has been reported by Airlines for America (A4A). A4A reports mainline numbers for most of their member carriers. A4A classifies Canadian air travel as ‘Domestic.’ The DHS-I92/APIS data includes all carriers with international service to/from the U.S. including regional carriers, both affiliated and non-affiliated, and general aviation. The I-92/APIS however is not inclusive of Pacific inter-port or other ‘beyond’ traffic.