ATA Reports Sharp Decline in Passenger Demand, Cargo Traffic

21 Percent Year-Over-Year Drop in June Passenger Yield Is Sharpest in Decade

WASHINGTON, July 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Air Transport Association of America (ATA), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today reported that passenger revenue[1] fell 26 percent in June 2009 versus the same month in 2008 - the eighth consecutive month in which passenger revenue has fallen from the prior year.

The number of passengers traveling on U.S. airlines[1] in June fell 6.5 percent while the average price to fly one mile fell 20.7 percent, a sharp decline surpassing even those witnessed during the 2001 recession and post-9/11 terrorist attacks. Revenue declines extended beyond the mainland United States to the trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific and Latin markets.

Compounding the softening demand for passenger travel, U.S. airlines[2] saw cargo traffic - as measured in revenue ton miles - decline 20 percent year over year in May 2009, marking the 10th consecutive month of declining cargo traffic. Notably, cargo traffic in the Pacific region fell 26 percent. June 2009 cargo data is not yet available.

The latest results continue to reflect the weak global economy and the lingering impact of the H1N1 (swine) influenza outbreak.

"Despite extreme price discounting, June data reflect ongoing weakness in demand for air travel. The airline industry remains fragile as this country continues to suffer from the worst recession since the 1930s," said ATA President and CEO James C. May.

Annually, commercial aviation helps drive $1.1 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 10 million U.S. jobs. On a daily basis, U.S. airlines operate nearly 30,000 flights in 77 countries, using more than 6,000 aircraft to carry an average of two million passengers and 50,000 tons of cargo.

ATA airline members and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of all U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic. For additional industry information, visit

[1] Based on data reported to ATA by Alaska, American, Continental (incl. Micronesia), Delta (incl. NWA), JetBlue, United and US Airways; also includes data for Air Midwest, Air Wisconsin, Allegheny, American Eagle, Atlantic Coast, Atlantic Southeast, Chautauqua, Comair, Continental Express, Executive, Freedom, Horizon, Mesa, Mesaba, MidAtlantic, Piedmont, Pinnacle, PSA, Shuttle America, SkyWest and Trans States.

[2] Based on data reported to ATA by Aloha, Alaska, American, Continental, Delta (incl. NWA), FedEx, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Midwest, Southwest, United, UPS and US Airways.

SOURCE Air Transport Association