ARC, the financial settlement link between airlines and travel sellers, reported today that the consolidated dollar value of airline tickets sold by U.S.-based travel agencies increased 10.68 percent* year-over-year in the first quarter of 2011 compared to 2010, a 32 percent increase over the same period in 2009. First quarter 2011 ticket sales totaled $21.8 billion in 2011, compared to $19.7 billion in 2010, and $16.5 billion in 2009.
Year-to-date passenger traffic for the first quarter of 2011 was down slightly—at 86.2 million flyers, compared to 87.6 million in 2010—while reflecting a 5.9 percent increase over the same period in 2009. Ticket transactions for the first quarter of 2011 remained nearly flat, at -0.30 percent compared to the same period in 2010, while up 11 percent over the same period in 2009.
Of the top 10 busiest airports in the United States,** John F. Kennedy International in New York continued its growth in 2011, leading passenger traffic volume year-over-year by posting a 7.38 percent increase for January-March 2011 compared to the same period in 2010. Overall year-over-year passenger traffic volume for the top 10 busiest airports in the United States, on average, was slightly down at -2.19 percent. Other top 10 U.S. airports and their volume changes include: San Francisco International (-0.39%), Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson (-1.77%), Los Angeles International (-2.13%), Houston George Bush Intercontinental (-0.76%), Denver International (-4.66%), Las Vegas McCarran International (-5.18%), Chicago O’Hare International (-4.54%), Phoenix Sky Harbor International (-2.68%), and Dallas-Fort Worth International (-7.21%).