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When America Flies, It Works

Air Transport Association issues 2010 Economic Report

Aug 20, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC - The 2010 Economic Report of the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) entitled, "When America Flies, it Works," accounts for the two million people; 50,000 tons of cargo; and more than one million bags that travel onboard 25,000 US airline flights to destinations near and far.

Commercial aviation supports nearly 11 million US jobs and contributes US$731.5 billion to US gross domestic product. This report summarizes the critical role that commercial aviation plays in virtually every facet of America's economy and daily lives.

"As we all work toward a stronger economic future, it is a particularly opportune time to focus on the contributions that commercial aviation makes toward revitalizing the US job market and creating a brighter future through economic development," said ATA president and CEO James C. May. "It is more important than ever for both the airline industry and those in government to make the right choices to foster prudent investment in commercial aviation."

The 2010 report, as well as previous editions, is available on the ATA website. The report includes the following facts:

- Every 100 commercial aviation jobs in the United States help support some 230 jobs in other industries.

- US airlines employed 536,200 full-time-equivalent employees in 2009.

- The value of US exports transported by air in 2009 was 145 times the value of exports transported by sea.

- Industry operating revenues dropped 16.9 percent to US$155 billion in 2009, resulting in the deepest two-year contraction in the industry's history and extending industry losses to US$58 billion over a nine-year period beginning in 2001.

- Passenger traffic declined by 5.3 percent to the lowest total in five years in 2009. Air cargo traffic decreased 12 percent, the largest year-over-year drop in industry history.

- Domestic seating capacity dropped 7 percent in 2009, the sharpest decline in 67 years. The cuts in 2008 and 2009 effectively erased 10 years of industry growth, leaving domestic seating capacity 1.3 percent below 1999 levels, but helped set the stage for the start of a recovery.

- Flying operations, which constituted 35 percent of industry costs, declined 33 percent on a US$26 billion year-over-year drop in fuel expense to US$32 billion. The average price paid for a gallon of jet fuel dropped to US$1.90 from the 2008 all-time high of US$3.07.

- The US airline industry has improved fuel efficiency 110 percent since the late 1970s, saving more than 2.9 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) - the equivalent of taking approximately 19 million cars off the road each of those years.

- US airlines and their customers pay about US$60 in taxes or 20 percent of the price of a typical US$300 domestic round-trip ticket.

ATA airline members and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of all US airline passenger and cargo traffic. The ATA Economic Report was first published in 1937. For additional industry information, visit .

Air Transport Association issues 2010 Economic Report
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