While there were fewer passengers flying last month, airline passenger revenue, based on a sample group of carriers, rose 4.5 percent in February versus the same month in 2009. This marked the second consecutive month of airline revenue growth, the Air Transport Association (ATA) reports.
“The growth in passenger revenue and cargo traffic is a reflection of growing consumer confidence in a recovering economy,” said ATA President and CEO James C. May.
Approximately 2.9 percent fewer passengers traveled on U.S. airlines in February, in large part due to inclement weather, while the average price to fly one mile rose 5 percent. Growth was particularly strong across all regions in international markets, where passenger revenues rose 7.9 percent, the ATA said in its analysis.
U.S. airlines saw cargo traffic, as measured in cargo revenue ton miles, rise 14 percent year over year (2 percent domestically and 27 percent internationally) in January 2009, driven by increased international trade. February 2010 cargo data is not yet available, the ATA said.
Annually, commercial aviation helps drive more than $1 trillion in U.S. economic activity and nearly 11 million U.S. jobs. On a daily basis, U.S. airlines operate nearly 26,000 flights in 80 countries, using more than 6,000 aircraft to carry an average of two million passengers and 50,000 tons of cargo.