Last updated: 04:39 PM ET, Mon December 16 2013

U.S. Airlines Report $3.2 Billion Third Quarter Profit

Airlines & Airports | Ryan Rudnansky | December 16, 2013

U.S. Airlines Report $3.2 Billion Third Quarter Profit

Scheduled passenger airlines in the United States reported a net profit of $3.2 billion in the third quarter of 2013, more than double the $1.4 billion profit in the third quarter of 2012, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS).

This was the second consecutive quarter that the 26 scheduled service carriers reported an after-tax profit, per BTS. These airlines also reported a pre-tax profit of $4.7 billion, up from the $2.6 billion pre-tax profit in the third quarter of 2012. It was the 11th consecutive quarter the carriers reported a pre-tax profit.

BTS studies numbers for Net Income or Loss, as well as for Operating Profit or Loss. Net Income or Loss may include non-operating income and expenses, nonrecurring items or income taxes. Operating Profit or Loss is derived from operating revenues and expenses before taxes and other nonrecurring items.

Total revenue for all passenger airlines in the third-quarter of 2013 was $43.2 billion. Airlines also collected $879 million in baggage fees and $735 million in reservation change fees from July 2013 through September 2013. Fees are included for calculations of Net Income, Operating Revenue and Operating Profit or Loss.

Baggage fees and reservation change fees are the only ancillary fees paid by passengers that are reported to BTS as separate items. Other fees, such as revenue from seating assignments and on-board sales of food, beverages, pillows, blankets, and entertainment are combined in different categories and cannot be identified separately.

Total operating expenses for all passenger airlines in the third-quarter of 2013 were $38.5 billion, of which $10.9 billion (28 percent) was used for fuel costs.

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