US airlines report 12th consecutive month of revenue growth

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WASHINGTON – The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today reported that passenger revenue, based on a sample group of carriers, rose 9 percent in December 2010 compared to the same month in 2009, marking the 12th consecutive month of revenue growth.

Miles flown by paying passengers rose 3 percent while the average price to fly one mile rose 6 percent. Passenger revenue improved 6 percent domestically and 16 percent in international markets, led by a 32 percent jump in spending on trans-Pacific and intra-Asia travel.

“These revenue results reflect ongoing strengthening in demand for travel by air as we enter 2011,” said ATA Vice President and Chief Economist John Heimlich. “International markets continue to lead the way for growth in both passenger and cargo transportation.”

A sample of U.S. airlines saw cargo traffic, as measured in cargo revenue ton miles, rise 4 percent year over year (down 1 percent domestically but up 8 percent internationally) in November 2010. December 2010 cargo data is not yet available.