Airlines Report Revenue Growth But Warn of Fuel Costs

Despite widespread winter storms, airline passenger revenue rose 13 percent in February 2011 compared to the same month in 2010, marking the 14th consecutive month of revenue growth, the Air Transport Association (ATA) reports. The ATA sees the new data as a sign of a stronger economy.

Miles flown by paying passengers rose 2.1 percent while the average price to fly one mile rose 10.8 percent, the ATA reports. International markets remained especially strong as passenger revenue grew 17 percent, led by a 27 percent increase in Pacific revenue. Domestic revenue grew 11.5 percent, fueled in large part by a 10.5 percent increase in yield.
“Industry revenue growth persisted in February, despite widespread winter storms plaguing airline operations throughout the country, and reflects a strengthening economy and pricing environment buoyed by recent fare hikes attempting to offset rapidly rising energy prices,” said ATA Vice President and Chief Economist John Heimlich. “As fuel prices remain at or near historically high levels, U.S. airlines may experience a more challenging revenue environment.”
A sample of U.S. airlines saw cargo traffic, as measured in cargo revenue ton miles, rise 5 percent year over year (down 2.7 percent domestically but up 11.0 percent internationally) in January 2011. February 2011 cargo data is not yet available. Visit