My Account Menu

CAPA Login


Register to trial CAPA Membership!

US airline uptick could finally be here

25-Feb-2010

Just as airline CEOs indicated during the fourth quarter analyst calls, the industry may finally be seeing the turnaround, reflected by new statistics from the Air Transport Association (ATA). Reversing a 14-month trend, US airlines saw January passenger revenue rise 1.4% in January compared to Jan-2009, according to the ATA. However, most managers remained cautious about the year.

"The modest uptick in passenger revenue and the solid increase in cargo volumes are promising signs that air-transport demand may be at the beginning of a long-awaited recovery," said ATA President and CEO James May.

The news was especially welcome, given the fact that US airlines flew 0.4% fewer passengers during Jan-2010. ATA also reported that the average price to fly one mile increased 0.6%, the first increase since Nov-2008. The trans-Atlantic market showed the most progress with a passenger unit revenue increase of 3.4%.

ATA yields by region: Jan-2009 to Jan-2010

Yield (¢ per Mile)
Excl. Taxes

DOMESTIC*

ATLANTIC

LATIN

PACIFIC

¢/RPM

% Change

¢/RPM

% Change

¢/RPM

% Change

¢/RPM

% Change

Jan-2009

14.00

(3.5)

11.98

(7.5)

14.96

2.1

12.16

(1.4)

Feb-2009

13.51

(8.8)

11.54

(10.7)

13.34

(2.3)

11.45

(2.9)

Mar-2009

13.34

(14.0)

10.53

(14.4)

12.73

(10.4)

11.40

(4.5)

Apr-2009

13.43

(10.7)

9.93

(21.9)

12.77

(8.0)

10.28

(17.3)

May-2009

12.71

(16.2)

9.94

(24.0)

11.95

(16.6)

10.26

(17.9)

Jun-2009

12.93

(18.9)

10.82

(25.2)

11.91

(21.8)

9.64

(25.5)

Jul-2009

13.20

(14.7)

11.12

(22.8)

12.19

(21.5)

9.70

(27.5)

Aug-2009

13.14

(14.0)

10.70

(24.3)

12.62

(19.8)

11.25

(24.4)

Sep-2009

13.26

(16.6)

10.82

(22.5)

12.47

(21.4)

10.96

(19.7)

Oct-2009

13.69

(12.5)

11.63

(14.4)

12.80

(17.3)

10.69

(17.8)

Nov-2009

14.47

(4.6)

12.07

(8.2)

13.36

(11.5)

10.88

(14.9)

Dec-2009

14.11

(1.9)

11.81

2.3

14.44

(6.9)

11.04

(8.4)

2009 YTD

13.45

(11.8)

11.00

(17.8)

13.02

(12.6)

10.80

(15.8)

Jan-2010 14.15 1.1 12.50 4.4 14.20 (5.1) 11.96 (1.6)

Cargo also improving

Cargo was up, continuing a trend first seen last Summer after the industry saw the cargo side fall into its deepest abyss in aviation history. For the full year 2009, cargo traffic declined 11% compared to 2008. The decline in cargo traffic from 2008 to 2009 was the largest on record, eclipsing the decline observed from 2000 to 2001. US airlines saw cargo ton miles rise 17% year-on-year in Dec-2009, said ATA, adding that domestic cargo traffic rose 12%, while international rose 23%. It cited increased international trade, noting January cargo was not yet available.


Want more analysis like this? CAPA Membership gives you access to all news and analysis on the site, along with access to many areas of our comprehensive databases and toolsets.
Find out more and take a free trial.