Stat: Airline Profits Rise in Second Quarter of 2014

With the help of fee income, U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reported a net profit of $3.6 billion in the second quarter of 2014, up from $507 million in the first quarter of 2014 and $2.2 billion in the second quarter of 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reports. 

The 27 U.S. scheduled service airlines reported an after-tax net profit as a group for the fifth consecutive quarter, BTS reports.

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In addition to the after-tax net profit based on net income reports, the scheduled service passenger airlines reported a $5.5 billion pre-tax operating profit in the second quarter of 2014, up from $1.7 billion in the first quarter of 2014 and up from $3.7 billion in the second quarter of 2013. The airlines reported a pre-tax operating profit - as a group - for the 14th consecutive quarter.

BTS says total operating revenue for all U.S. passenger airlines in the April-to-June second-quarter of 2014 was $44.6 billion. Airlines collected $33.7 billion from fares, 75.5 percent of total second-quarter operating revenue.

Total operating expenses for all passenger airlines in the second-quarter of 2014 were $39.1 billion, of which fuel costs accounted for $10.8 billion, or 27.8 percent, and labor costs accounted for $10.3 billion, or 26.3 percent.

In the second quarter, BTS says, passenger airlines collected a total of $900 million in baggage fees, 2.0 percent of total operating revenue, and $753 million from reservation change fees, 1.7 percent of total operating revenue. Fees are included for calculations of net income, operating revenue and operating profit or loss, BTS notes.

Baggage fees and reservation change fees are the only ancillary fees paid by passengers that are reported to BTS as separate items. Other fees, such as revenue from seating assignments and on-board sales of food, beverages, pillows, blankets, and entertainment are combined in different categories and cannot be identified separately, BTS reports.

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