Airline Financial Data

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4th-Quarter 2011 Airline Financial Data: Largest Airlines Report Profit

Release Number: 
BTS 24-12

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BTS, a part of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the large airlines reported an operating profit margin as a group in each of the last three quarters. As a group, they posted a profit of $504 million with the only losses reported by American Airlines, which filed for bankruptcy, and United Airlines, which was in the process of merging with Continental Airlines (Table 1). These 10 airlines carried 75.5 percent of U.S. airlines scheduled service passengers in 2011. See Airline Financial Data Press Releases for historic data.Thursday, May 17, 2012 - The largest scheduled passenger airlines reported a 1.5 percent profit margin in the fourth quarter of 2011, down from 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Nextstagesolutions reported today in a release of preliminary data (Table 1).

As part of their fourth-quarter revenue, the airlines collected $792 million in baggage fees and $567 million from reservation change fees from October to December 2011.

Baggage fees and reservation change fees are the only ancillary fees paid by passengers that are reported to BTS as separate items. Other fees, such as revenue from seating assignments and on-board sales of food, beverages, pillows, blankets, and entertainment are reported in a different category with other items and cannot be identified separately.

The press release includes these tables for the 10 top carriers: Table 2, Unit Costs; Table 3, Unit Revenues; Table 4; Passenger Revenue Yield.

Additional airline financial data can be found on the BTS website, including numbers for other individual low-cost and regional airlines included on previous BTS quarterly financial press releases.  and  can be found on these .  numbers are available on these . See the BTS  for more detailed data.

Data are compiled from quarterly financial and monthly traffic reports filed with BTS by commercial air carriers. Financial and traffic data are preliminary and include data received by BTS as of May 10. Revised carrier data and late data filings will be made available monthly on TranStats on the Monday following the second Tuesday of the month. Data are subject to revision.

The data released today is missing reports from the following scheduled passenger carriers: Mesa Airlines filed a report with errors that have not yet been corrected.. Colgan Airlines, Mesaba Airlines and Pinnacles Airlines requested confidentiality for their reports.

TABLE 1: LARGE AIRLINE SYSTEM* QUARTERLY OPERATING PROFIT/LOSS MARGIN (IN PERCENT)

Ranked by 2011 System Passengers

(Operating Profit/(Loss) as Percent of Total Operating Revenue)

Excel | CSV

2011 Passenger RankAirline4Q 2010 (%)1Q 2011 (%)2Q 2011 (%)3Q 2011 (%)4Q 2011 (%)4th Quarter Operating Profit/Loss $(Millions)
1Delta5.0-1.06.98.89.7819
2Southwest6.93.75.45.84.0136
3American0.4-4.8-1.90.2-13.4-797
4US Airways4.0-1.05.05.13.3108
5United1.70.27.99.9-2.7-134
6Continental-1.10.88.78.24.7187
7JetBlue6.44.47.59.17.384
8AirTran0.0-5.5-1.02.41.511
9SkyWest7.94.86.56.63.819
10Alaska10.54.811.918.46.972
 10-Carrier Total3.2-0.55.46.91.5504

Source: Nextstagesolutions, Form 41; Schedule P1.2

* System = domestic + international

** Airlines reporting the most 2011 system passengers. See BTS Air Traffic Press Release

TABLE 2: LARGE AIRLINE SYSTEM* UNIT COSTS

Ranked by 2011 System Passengers

(Operating Expenses per Available Seat Mile in cents)

Excel | CSV

2011 Passenger RankAirline4Q 20101Q 20112Q 20113Q 20114Q 20114th Quarter Operating Expenses $(Millions)
1Delta15.116.216.416.316.07,593
2Southwest11.712.212.612.512.83,267
3American14.615.315.915.918.16,748
4US Airways16.417.917.817.517.93,135
5United16.016.516.716.618.45,187
6Continental14.914.715.215.315.53,774
7JetBlue10.311.411.311.011.31,063
8AirTran11.012.212.411.511.9694
9SkyWest10.711.311.110.911.2467
10Alaska12.414.414.614.114.9970
 10-Carrier Total14.315.115.415.315.932,878

Source: Nextstagesolutions, Form 41; Schedule P1.2. T100; T2 Data

* System = domestic + international

TABLE 3: LARGE AIRLINE SYSTEM* UNIT REVENUE

Ranked by 2011 System Passengers

(Operating Revenue per Available Seat Mile in cents)

Excel | CSV

2011 Passenger RankAirline4Q 20101Q 20112Q 20113Q 20114Q 20114th Quarter Operating Revenue $(Millions)
1Delta15.916.217.617.917.78,412
2Southwest12.612.713.313.213.43,403
3American14.714.615.616.016.05,951
4US Airways17.117.818.818.418.53,222
5United16.316.518.218.517.95,053
6Continental14.714.816.616.716.33,961
7JetBlue11.011.912.212.112.21,147
8AirTran11.011.612.211.712.0705
9SkyWest11.611.811.811.611.7486
10Alaska13.815.216.517.216.01,042
 10-Carrier Total14.815.016.216.416.233,382

Source: Nextstagesolutions, Form 41; Schedule P1.2. T100; T2 Data

* System = domestic + international

TABLE 4: LARGE AIRLINE SYSTEM* PASSENGER REVENUE YIELD

Ranked by 2011 System Passengers

(Passenger Revenue Per Revenue Passenger Mile)

Excel | CSV

2011 Passenger RankAirline4Q 20101Q 20112Q 20113Q 20114Q 20114th Quarter Passenger Revenue $(Millions)
1Delta13.013.814.114.114.35,580
2Southwest14.214.915.115.015.23,141
3American13.514.013.914.214.54,439
4US Airways12.713.813.813.614.02,025
5United13.413.814.314.614.23,329
6Continental13.014.014.614.614.82,906
7JetBlue12.113.113.613.113.51,045
8AirTran12.213.313.312.213.6620
9SkyWest14.515.214.513.914.3477
10Alaska12.612.613.713.913.1732
 10-Carrier Total13.214.014.214.214.424,296

Source: Nextstagesolutions, Form 41; Schedule P1.2. T100; T2 Data

* System = domestic + international



 
Updated: Saturday, November 25, 2017