U.S and Foreign Airlines' U.S. Passengers Increase

803.5 million scheduled passengers traveled on U.S. airlines and on foreign airlines serving the United States in 2011, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reports. This is a 1.7 percent increase from 2010. The 2011 passenger total was 4.3 percent higher than in 2009.

BTS reports that U.S. airlines carried 1.3 percent more domestic passengers in 2011 and 1.7 percent more international passengers than in 2010 for the systemwide increase of 1.3 percent. Passengers to and from the United States on foreign carriers increased 5.6 percent from 2010).

The number of passengers increased in every month of 2011 from 2010 except in October when a 1.3 percent decrease in domestic passengers resulted in a systemwide 0.7 percent decrease that was not fully offset by an increase in international passengers. Higher fuel prices led to airlines cutting back to fall/winter schedules earlier than usual. As a result, there were not as many domestic seats available in October as expected.

Delta Air Lines, following its merger with Northwest Airlines, carried more total system passengers in 2011 than any other U.S. airline for the second consecutive year, BTS says. American Airlines carried more international passengers to and from the United States in 2011 than any other U.S. or foreign carrier, followed closely by Delta.

More total system passengers boarded planes in 2011 at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International than at any other U.S. airport; and more international passengers boarded planes at New York John F. Kennedy.

U.S. carriers and foreign carriers serving the United States operated 10.0 million domestic and international flights in 2011, 0.4 percent fewer than operated in 2010, BTS reports. 

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