But Overall Traffic Numbers Continue Steep Decline
The number of scheduled domestic and
international passengers on US airlines during October 2008
declined by 7.1 percent from October 2007, dropping by 4.6 million
to 59.6 million, in the 8th consecutive monthly decline from the
same month of the previous year, the Department of Transportation's
Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported Thursday.
BTS, a part of DOT's Research and Innovative Technology
Administration, in a release of preliminary data, reported US
airlines carried 7.5 percent fewer domestic passengers than in
October 2007. The October domestic passenger number was the lowest
October number since 2003.
For the first 10 months of 2008, the number of scheduled
domestic and international passengers on US airlines declined by
2.6 percent from the same period in 2007, dropping to 630.1
million, 16.8 million fewer than a year earlier.
Overall, US carriers transported 3.3 percent fewer domestic
passengers and 2.6 percent more international passengers in the
first 10 months of 2008 than during the same period in 2007...
reflecting systemwide domestic capacity cuts throughout the
industry, and a renewed focus on more profitable international
The combined domestic and international system load factor of
80.0 percent for January through October was down 0.5 load factor
points from last year's record for the 10-month period. However,
both the combined domestic and international system load factor and
the domestic load factor reached record levels for the month of
BTS notes the system load factor was 79.2 percent, up 0.5 points
from the previous record in October 2007. The domestic load factor
was 79.8, up 1.3 points from the previous record in October 2007.
The international load factor was down 1.3 points from October
Southwest Airlines carried more total system and more domestic
passengers for the first 10 months than any other US airline, while
American Airlines carried more international passengers than any
other US carrier.