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North American airline operating performance improves, but profits lag


US carriers have reported several operational improvements this Summer, although high fuel prices have dampened earnings, despite yield gains. [1668 words]

Unlock the following content in this report:


  • On-time performance shows year-on-year improvement in Jul-08
  • Cancellations and mishandled baggage rates also improve year-on-year in Jul-08
  • US network carriers report third quarterly loss margin after six consecutive profitable quarters
  • Spirit, Comair and Atlantic Southwest Airlines report top three operating profit margins
  • 30.6% of network carrier operating expenses spent on fuel
  • Spirit, JetBlue and AirTran reports lowest unit revenues; Spirit, Southwest and JetBlue the lowest unit costs in 2Q08
  • Network carrier yield improves 6.8% in 2Q08
  • US passenger traffic slips 0.4% in 1H08 to 378.2 million passengers
  • Fourth consecutive month of year-on-year passenger reductions in Jun-08
  • Domestic passengers decrease; international passengers increase in Jun-08, as capacity shifted to international markets
  • Southwest maintains market leadership

Graphs and data:

  • On time arrival rates (%) among 19 US airlines: 1995 to 2008
  • Delay cause among weather (% of total delays): 2003-2007
  • Cancelled services (%) among 19 US airlines: 1995 to 2008
  • US airline on time arrival (%): Jun-08
  • On-time performance and flight cancellation statistics: Jul-08
  • US carrier operating profit margins (network carriers and LCCs): 1Q08
  • US carriers fuel cost (per ASM): 2Q03 vs 2Q08
  • US carriers unit revenue (RASM) vs unit cost (CASM) in 1Q08
  • US carriers unit revenues in 1Q08
  • US carriers unit cost in 2Q08
  • US carrier unit yields (per RPM): 2Q08
  • US scheduled system domestic and international traffic highlights: six months ended 30-Jun-08
  • US scheduled system domestic and international traffic highlights: Jun-08
  • US total system (domestic and international) scheduled enplanements: Jan-06 to Jun-08
  • Top 10 US airlines scheduled enplanements: Jun-08
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