DOT Reports 1.7 Percent Increase in U.S. Airline Passengers
The number of passengers on U.S. and foreign carriers serving the U.S. went up 1.7 percent in 2011 to 803.5 million scheduled passengers, according to the latest U.S. Department of Transportation figures. The 2011 passenger total was 4.3 percent higher than in 2009.
The number of passengers increased in every month of 2011 from 2010 except in October when a 1.3 percent decrease in domestic passengers resulted in a systemwide 0.7 percent decrease that was not fully offset by an increase in international passengers. Higher fuel prices led to airlines cutting back to fall/winter schedules earlier than usual. As a result, there were not as many domestic seats available in October as expected.
Delta Air Lines, following its merger with Northwest Airlines, carried more total system passengers in 2011 than any other U.S. airline for the second consecutive year. American Airlines carried more international passengers to and from the United States in 2011 than any other U.S. or foreign carrier, followed closely by Delta.
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