ATA reports April demand increase for air travel, shipping

ATA reports April demand increase for air travel, shipping

The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, reported that passenger revenue1 rose 12 percent in April 2011 compared to the same month in 2010, marking the 16th consecutive month of revenue growth. The revenue data is based on a sample group of U.S. carriers.2

“Growth in air travel spending at the start of the second quarter bodes well for U.S. economic recovery. ATA forecasts 1.5 percent more passengers will fly during the summer months and is optimistic that strong international demand will help offset volatile fuel costs,” said ATA Vice President and Chief Economist John Heimlich.

Systemwide passenger traffic, as measured by miles flown by paying passengers,3 rose 3 percent while the average price to fly one mile, also known as yield, rose 9 percent for the month.

U.S. domestic revenue grew 8.6 percent, fueled in large part by an 8.8 percent yield increase.

Trans-Atlantic revenue grew 27 percent from a year ago, reflecting the restoration of operations, which were temporarily cut during the Icelandic volcano-related airspace closures in April 2010.

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Trans-Pacific revenue rose 5.5 percent as higher passenger yields grew, offsetting a decrease in passenger traffic.  This modest increase partly reflects adjustments made following the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

Latin American revenue grew 24 percent as passenger yields grew 16 percent, the largest increase of any region.
A sample of U.S. airlines4 saw spending on shipments of freight and mail rise 22 percent year over year (up 17 percent domestically and 24 percent internationally) in April 2011.