Airlines report 13th consecutive month of revenue growth


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 10 percent in January 2011 compared to the same month in 2010, marking the 13th consecutive month of revenue growth. Miles flown by paying passengers rose 2.5 percent while the average price to fly one mile rose 7.2 percent. International market performance remains strong as passenger revenue grew 16 percent, led in particular by a 30 percent increase in Pacific revenue. Domestic revenue grew 6.7 percent, fueled in large part by a 6.3 percent increase in yield.

“Despite the severe winter storms that disrupted airline operations throughout the country, January’s revenue performance was quite good, fueled principally by a stronger economy in relation to capacity,” said ATA Vice President and Chief Economist John Heimlich. “While revenue performance is improving, carriers are challenged by the price of fuel – their single largest expense – which this week hit the highest level since Oct. 1. 2008.”

A sample of U.S. airlines saw cargo traffic, as measured in cargo revenue ton miles, rise 4 percent year over year (down 2.5 percent domestically but up 9.2 percent internationally) in December 2010. January 2011 cargo data is not yet available.