US airlines report faster growth in September; American, Delta, United and US Airways all growing by more than 5%
September data from the leading US carriers shows that all of them (except Southwest) reported traffic (measured by system RPMs – Revenue Passenger Miles) growing faster than it was in August. Of particular note was the fact that all four of the remaining legacy carriers (American, Delta, United, US Airways) all reported RPM growth above 5%. In fact, the only carrier not growing by at least 5% was AirTran which reported modest growth of 1.7% for the second successive month.
Allegiant Air continues to lead the way with growth for the third successive month of over 20%, followed by jetBlue which reported almost 15% year-on-year growth in September. Alaska Airlines managed a fifth straight month of double-digit growth
Load factors fall once more in September
Monthly load factors as reported by 12 US airlines have been plotted for the last 21 months to show how different airlines compare and what impact seasonality has on the airlines’ ability to fill their aircraft.
In September, 11 of the 12 airlines reported load factors falling compared with August, the notable exception being Hawaiian Airlines. Nine of the 12 airlines still reported systemwide (or consolidated) load factors in excess of 80%, with AirTran and Southwest joining American Eagle with load factors of less than 80%.
US airline new route database
To keep up to date with all the latest new route developments of US airlines please check our regularly updated, free, downloadable spreadsheet.