DOT Reports Passenger Gains

U.S. airlines carried 58.0 million scheduled domestic and international passengers in September 2011, a 1.2 percent increase over September 2010.  The September 2011 passenger total was 6.0 percent above that of two years ago in September 2009.

Preliminary data from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) also reported that U.S. airlines carried 1.3 percent more domestic passengers in September 2011 than in September 2010. 

The system load factor of 81.9 percent and the domestic load factor of 81.8 percent were record highs for the month of September. The number of international passengers on U.S. carriers in September 2011 increased 0.4 percent from September 2010.

U.S. airlines carried 551.8 million total system passengers during the first nine months of 2011, up 1.9 percent from the same period in 2010. Domestically, they carried 480.5 million passengers, up 1.8 percent from 2010, DOT said.

Internationally, airlines carried 71.3 million passengers, up 2.7 percent from 2010. Systemwide, domestic and international totals were all the highest for January through September since 2008.