Record Broken for US Airlines Passenger Numbers for 2016

US Airlines Passenger Numbers for 2016

Just what was the total number of passengers that traveled on US airlines in 2016? The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics has just released US airlines passenger numbers for 2016 in the Annual and December U.S. Airline Traffic Data which indicates that US airlines carried a record-breaking 823 million passengers in 2016 domestically and internationally. The BTS report stated today that U.S. airlines carried an all-time high number of passengers in 2016 including a total of 823.0 million system-wide, 719.0 million domestic and 103.9 million international exceeding 2015’s previous numbers.

The airlines also set all-time annual highs for system-wide, domestic and international revenue passenger miles (RPMs) and available seat-miles (ASMs). Although passenger trips handled by airlines reached an all-time high in 2016 there were more empty seats available because airlines expanded capacity at an even greater rate. Load factor – the measure of the use of airline capacity – declined from previous years.

The BTS report also cites that the annual passenger load factor declined from 2015 (83.8) to 2016 (83.4) because system capacity grew faster (3.9 percent increase in ASMs) than the growth in passenger travel (3.5 percent increase in RPMs). These successful results may be indicators of economic health within the commercial aviation industry, improved training and operational efficiency.

Sources: BTS 13-17, Dave Smallen US Department of Transportation; Feature of the business airports in the US – photo by Wikipedia Commons