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May 2016 YTD U.S. – International Air Passenger Traffic up Six Percent

November 4, 2016 Statistics & Trends No Comments Email Email

International air traffic to/from the U.S. (1) totaled 86.3 million passengers through May 2016, a six percent increase over the May 2015 year-to-date period.

U.S. citizen travel (39.4 million) was up nine percent and composed 46 percent of all air traffic. Non-U.S. citizen air travelers (47.0 million) increased by thee percent, with market share at 54 percent.

U.S. airlines carried 42.9 million passengers, up three percent, however their share slipped to just below 50 percent. Foreign flags carried 43.5 million passengers, up eight percent from same period 2015.

International Passengers (mlns) % Chg y-o-y Market Share % Pt. chg.
U.S. Citizens 39.352 9.3% 45.6% 1.5
Non-U.S. Citizens 46.961 2.8% 54.4% -1.5
U.S. Flag Carriers (3) 42.863 3.0% 49.7% -1.2
Foreign Flag Carriers 43.450 8.4% 50.3% 1.2

The following, overseas, Canada and Mexico regions are ‘breakouts’ of international:

Overseas air traffic accounted for 62.6 million passengers, 73 percent of all international, and grew by six percent.

U.S. citizen travel (28.2 million) was up eight percent and composed 45 percent of overseas air traffic. Non-U.S. citizen air travelers (34.4 million) increased by five percent.

U.S. airlines carried 29.6 million passengers, up three percent, their share dropping to 47 percent. Foreign flags carried 32.9 million passengers, up 10 percent from May 2015 YTD.

Overseas Regions Passengers (mlns) % Chg y-o-y Market Share % Pt. chg.
U.S. Citizens 28.165 7.6% 45.0% 0.5
Non-U.S. Citizens 34.425 5.3% 55.0% -0.5
U.S. Flag Carriers 29.642 2.7% 47.4% -1.6
Foreign Flag Carriers 32.948 9.8% 52.6% 1.6

Overseas regions performed as follows:

Overseas Regions Passengers (mlns) % of all International % Change2016/2015 YTD
Europe 21.653 25% 4.6%
Asia 13.425 16% 8.4%
Caribbean 9.567 11% 3.9%
South America 6.435 7% 5.2%
Central America 4.961 6% 9.4%
Middle East 4.075 5% 13.0%
Oceania 1.966 2% 7.0%
Africa 0.508 1% 3.4%

China to U.S. ‘Air Arrivals’ (2) for May 2016:

  Non-U.S. Citizens(Originating from PRC) U.S. Citizens(Returning to U.S.) Total Inbound Passengers on Non-stop Flights Load Factor (Estimate)
Passengers 215,003 104,246 319,249 81.7%
% Chg. May16/15 18.6% 25.9% 20.9% -0.9 pts

Estimated capacity (390,960 seats) on inbound flights from PRC was up 22.3 percent year-over-year. Overall inbound passenger growth, 20.9 percent, didn’t pace capacity growth.

Chinese carriers increased average weekly frequencies from 122 to 171*, up 40 percent.U.S. carriers increased average weekly frequencies from 126 to 135, up seven percent.(*Note: maximum round trip weekly frequencies, for each side, is 171 (Zones 1 and 2)

North American markets accounted for almost 28 percent of U.S. international air traffic flows.

Mexico air traffic accounted for 12.0 million passengers, 14 percent of all international traffic, and was up nine percent.

U.S. citizen travel (8.1 million) increased 14 percent and composed 68 percent of all air traffic. Mexicans, and other foreign national air travelers (3.8 million) transiting through Mexico, was flat, and market share dropped to 32 percent.

U.S. flags carried 8.9 million passengers, up nine percent from last year, and their share increased slightly to 75 percent. Foreign flags carried 3.0 million passengers, up eight percent, with share at 25 percent.

Mexican Region Passengers (mlns) % Chg y-o-y Market Share % Pt. chg.
U.S. Citizens 8.146 13.6% 68.1% 2.8
Non-U.S. Citizens 3.823 0.1% 31.9% -2.8
U.S. Flag Carriers 8.942 9.2% 74.7% 0.2
Foreign Flag Carriers 3.028 8.0% 25.3% -0.2

air traffic accounted for 11.8 million passengers, almost 14 percent of all international traffic, and decreased by one percent.

U.S. citizen travel (3.0 million) increased 15 percent and composed 26 percent of air traffic. Canadian, and other foreign national citizen air travelers transiting through Canada (8.7 million), declined by five percent. Market share decreased to 74 percent.

U.S. flags carried 4.3 million passengers, down seven percent from last year, and their share slipped to 36 percent. Foreign flags carried 7.5 million passengers, up three percent.

Canadian Region Passengers (mlns) % Chg y-o-y Market Share % Pt. chg.
U.S. Citizens 3.040 14.7% 25.9% 3.5
Non-U.S. Citizens 8.712 -5.1% 74.1% -3.5
U.S. Flag Carriers 4.278 -6.6% 36.4% -2.3
Foreign Flag Carriers 7.474 3.0% 63.6% 2.3

May 2016 Year-to-Date

Top 10 Foreign Airports (Passenger Traffic to/From U.S.):33.2 million Passengers, 38% of Total International Air Traffic

Passengers (mlns)

London Heathrow (LHR) 5.576
Toronto (YYZ) 5.266
Cancun (CUN) 3.996
Tokyo Narita (NRT) 3.827
Mexico City (MEX) 2.895
Paris/de Gaulle (CDG) 2.538
Incheon (ICN) 2.525
Frankfurt (FRA) 2.484
Vancouver (YVR) 2.191
Amsterdam  (AMS) 1.867

Top 10 U.S. Airports (Passenger Traffic to/From Foreign Airports):58.6 million Passengers, 67% of Total Air Traffic

Passengers (mlns)

New York (JFK) 12.021
Miami (MIA) 8.833
Los Angeles (LAX) 8.716
Chicago ((ORD) 4.729
Newark (EWR) 4.709
Atlanta (ATL) 4.664
San Francisco (SFO)Â 4.633
Houston Intercontinental (IAH) 4.431
Dallas-Ft Worth (DFW) 3.196
Washington Dulles (IAD) 2.675

Top 10 Airlines (3) Serving U.S. International Non-Stop Markets:
48.3 million Passengers, 56% of Total Air Traffic

Passengers (mlns)

United Airlines (UA) 11.983
Delta Air Lines (DL) 11.759
American Airlines (AA) 9.79
Jet Blue (B6) 2.881
British Airways (BA) 2.846
Lufthansa (LH) 2.166
WestJet (WS) 2.074
Air Canada rouge (RV) 1.706
Air Canada (AC) 1.637
Air Mexico (AM) 1.426

Monthly % changes
: (See chart at top)

Subsequently NTTO will publish the May U.S. Citizen Outbound, all mode travel. (U.S. Citizen outbound is a component in the estimation of U.S. travel ‘imports’. For current 2016, April: http://travel.trade.gov/view/m-2016-O-001/index.html

A description of the “APIS” program: http://travel.trade.gov/research/programs/i92/index.htmlincludes subscription prices for detail reports in excel and adobe.

U.S. Department of CommerceInternational Trade AdministrationNational Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO)1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 10003Washington, D.C. 20230Phone:(202) 482-0140Website:http://travel.trade.gov/Email:ntto@trade.gov___________________(1)These reflect non-stop air-only data.  A portion of the non-stop passenger traffic to i.e., Europe will not visit Europe, but will connect through one of Europe’s airline hubs (LHR, AMS, FRA, CDG, MAD, etc.) to Africa and the Middle East.  Also, some traffic to the Middle East will connect through the U.A.E. The adjustment to these regions, reflecting visitation (1+ nights), occurs after year-end data is compiled.

(2) Non-stop air arrivals from China (PRC). Non-U.S. citizens assumed to be mostly Chinese citizens. All inbound from China, including U.S. citizens returning, compared to available seats (DIIO/Innovata) to estimate load factor. . Note: PRC travelers also connect via Asian hubs or Canada when traveling to U.S.

(3) Numbers for U.S. carriers varies from what has been reported by Airlines for America. A4A reported mainline numbers for most of their member carriers. A4A includes Canada in Domestic. The DHS-I92/APIS data includes all carriers with international service to/from the U.S. including regional carriers, both affiliated and non-affiliated, and general aviation. The I-92APIS, however is not inclusive of Pacific inter-port or other ‘beyond’ traffic

Performance metrics reported are:

  • Total international air travel (arrivals + departures),
  • U.S. citizen and foreign citizen air travelers,
  • U.S. flag and foreign flag carriers,
  • Top U.S. and foreign airports.

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