The Air Transport Association (ATA) reported that revenue passenger miles (RPMs) declined 10.7 percent, systemwide in February, versus the same month in 2001. Domestic revenue passenger miles declined 10.3 percent and international RPMs decreased 11.7 percent. Revenue passenger mile is the industry term used to quantify the volume of business; one RPM equals one fare-paying passenger transported one mile.
Passenger enplanements were down 12.0 percent, on average, in February. The number of enplanements declined 12.5 percent, domestically, and 7.9 percent, internationally.
“February traffic results were encouraging, giving further evidence that the airlines are slowly recovering,” stated ATA Chief Economist David Swierenga.
The system-wide load factor was 68.6 percent in February. The domestic load factor was 67.3 percent and the international load factor was 72.6 percent. The narrow improvement in load factor compared to the previous month was driven by a 13.4 percent decline in airline capacity. Load factor is the percentage of airline capacity that is utilized.
The Air Transport Association of America, Inc. is the trade association for leading U.S. airlines. ATA members transport over 95 percent of all the passenger and cargo traffic in the United States.