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TI News: An information service from the Office of Travel & Tourism Industries (OTTI)

February 22, 2013

Annual 2012 U.S.-International Air Passenger Traffic, 177.6 Million, Up 7 Percent

December 2012 Total U.S.-International Air Traffic Up Five Percent
U.S. Airlines Carried 54 Percent of All Air Traffic in 2012
Foreign Citizen and Foreign Flag Traffic Show Strong Growth

International air traffic to/from the United States (1) totaled 177.6 million passengers for 2012, a seven percent increase over 2011.

U.S. citizen air travel (78.2 million) increased four percent and comprised 44 percent of all air traffic. Foreign national (non-U.S. citizen) air travelers (99.4 million) increased by nine percent, increasing share of the total market from 55 to 56 percent.

U.S. airlines carried 95.3 million passengers, up four percent, however their share dropped one percentage point to 54 percent. Foreign flags carried 82.2 million passengers, up 10 percent from 2011, with their share increasing to 46 percent.

U.S. - International Passengers (mlns) % Chg y-o-y Market Share % Pt change
   U.S. Citizens 78.165 4% 44% -1
   Foreign Nationals 99.391 9% 56% +1
         
   U.S. Flag Carriers (2) 95.319 4% 54% -1
   Foreign Flag Carriers 82.237 10% 46% +1

December air traffic was up five percent over December 2011, disclosing a lower growth rate.

The following, overseas, Canada and Mexico regions are breakouts of international:

Overseas air traffic accounted for 133.0 million passengers, 75 percent of all international air traffic for the year, and was up seven percent.

U.S. citizen travel (59.7 million) increased four percent and comprised 45 percent of all overseas air traffic. Foreign national air travelers (73.4 million) increased by nine percent, increasing market share to 55 percent, a one percentage point increase in share between 2011 and 2012.

U.S. airlines carried 68.5 million passengers, up five percent, and their share dropped to 51 percent. Foreign flags carried 64.5 million passengers, up eight percent from 2011. Their traffic share increased to 49 percent.

U.S. - Overseas Regions Passengers (mlns) % Chg y-o-y Market Share % Pt change
   U.S. Citizens 59.672 4% 45% -1
   Foreign Nationals 73.350 9% 55% +1
         
   U.S. Flag Carriers 68.474 5% 51% -1
   Foreign Flag Carriers 64.548 8% 49% +1

Total air traffic to/from overseas regions for the year performed as follows:

Overseas Regions Passengers (mlns) % Chg from 2011
   Europe    53.225    4%
   Asia    26.849    11%
   Caribbean    18.968    6%
   South America    13.348    8%
   Central America    9.073    10%
   Middle East    6.149    10%
   Oceania    4.013    7%
   Africa    1.397    10%
   Total Overseas    133.022    7%

December air traffic was up four percent over December 2011, disclosing a lower growth rate.

North American markets (Canada and Mexico) accounted for 25 percent of U.S. international air traffic flows.

U.S.-Canada air traffic accounted for 24.8 million passengers, 14 percent of all international traffic, and was up seven percent in 2011.

U.S. citizen travel (6.5 million) increased five percent and comprised 26 percent of air traffic in the market. Canadian, and other foreign national citizen air travelers transiting through Canada (18.2 million), increased by eight percent with their market share increasing to 74 percent.

U.S. flags carried 11.5 million passengers, up three percent, and their share dropped from 48 to 46 percent. Foreign flags carried 13.3 million passengers, up 11 percent increasing their share to 54 percent.

U.S. - Canada Passengers (mlns) % Chg y-o-y Market Share % Pt change
   U.S. Citizens 6.539 5% 26% -1
   Foreign Nationals 18.223 8% 74% +1
         
   U.S. Flag Carriers 11.504 3% 46% -2
   Foreign Flag Carriers 13.258 11% 54% +2

December air traffic was up eight percent over December 2011, disclosing a higher growth rate.

U.S. - Mexico air traffic accounted for 19.8 million passengers, 11 percent of all U.S. - international traffic, and was up six percent for 2012.

U.S. citizen travel (12.0 million) increased three percent and comprised 60 percent of all air traffic. Mexicans, and other foreign national air travelers (7.8 million) transiting through Mexico, increased by 12 percent increasing their market share to 40 percent.

U.S. flags carried 15.3 million passengers, up two percent from 2011, and their share dropped from 81 to 78 percent. Foreign flags carried 4.4 million passengers, up 24 percent increasing share to 22 percent.

U.S. - Mexico Passengers (mlns) % Chg y-o-y Market Share % Pt change
   U.S. Citizens 11.954 3% 60% -3
   Foreign Nationals 7.818 12% 40% +3
         
   U.S. Flag Carriers 15.341 2% 78% -3
   Foreign Flag Carriers 4.431 24% 22% +3

December air traffic was up five percent over December 2011, disclosing a lower growth rate.

Top 10 Foreign Airports (Passenger Traffic to/from U.S.) Annual 2012:
Accounted for 40 Percent of U.S. - International Air Traffic

    Passengers (millions)
1. London Heathrow (LHR) 14.062
2. Toronto (YYZ) 10.408
3. Tokyo Narita (NRT) 9.602
4. Frankfurt (FRT) 6.572
5. Paris/de Gaulle (CDG) 6.098
6. Cancun (CUN) 5.754
7. Mexico City (MEX) 5.455
8. Incheon (ICT) 4.765
9. Vancouver (YVR) 4.422
10. Amsterdam (AMS) 4.378
    71.517

Top 10 U.S. Airports (Passenger Traffic to/from Foreign Airports) Annual 2012:
Accounted for 70 Percent of All U.S. - International Air Traffic

    Passengers (Millions)
1. New York (JFK) 25.287
2. Miami (MIA) 19.208
3. Los Angeles (LAX) 17.118
4. Newark (EWR) 11.462
5. Chicago (ORD) 10.642
6. Atlanta (ATL) 9.832
7. San Francisco (SFO) 9.351
8. Houston (IAH) 8.728
9. Washington Dulles (IAD) 6.655
10. Dallas-Ft Worth (DFW) 6.009
    124.293

Top 10 Airlines Serving U.S. International Non-Stop Markets Annual 2012:
Accounted for 61 Percent of All U.S. - International Air Traffic

    Passengers
(Millions)
1. United Airlines (UA/CO)* 29.122
2. American Airlines (AA) 21.884
3. Delta Air Lines (DL) 20.054
4. US Airways (US) 7.981
5. British Airways (BA) 6.656
6. Air Canada (AC) 6.567
7. Lufthansa (LH) 5.200
8. Jet Blue Airways (JB) 4.184
9. West Jet (WJ) 3.590
10. Air France (AF) 3.476
    108.717

* United Airlines and Continental merged operations on March 7th

In the immediate future OTTI will publish the December 2012 U.S. Citizen Outbound report, which contains total monthly travel (all modes) to Canada and Mexico. See: http://travel.trade.gov/view/m-2012-O-001/index.html.

A description of OTTI’s program based on DHS APIS/ “I-92” data: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/research/programs/i92/index.html includes subscription prices for detailed country and port level reports which are available in Excel and Adobe. See actual report: http://tinet.ita.doc.gov/research/programs/i92/2006_I92_Air_Travel_Statistics.pdf

U.S. Department of Commerce
International Trade Administration
Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI)
1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 10003
Washington, D.C. 20230
Phone: (202) 482-0140
Website: www.tinet.ita.doc.gov
Email: otti@trade.gov


(1) This reflects non-stop air-only data. A portion of the non-stop passenger traffic to Europe will not ‘visit’ Europe, but will connect through one of Europe’s airline hubs (LHR, AMS, FRA, CDG, MAD, etc.) to Africa and the Middle East. The adjustment to these regions, reflecting visitation (1+ nights), occurs after year-end data is compiled.

(2) Numbers for U.S. carriers slightly exceed what has been reported by Airlines for America (A4A). A4A reports mainline numbers for most of their member carriers. A4A classifies Canadian air travel as ‘Domestic.’ The DHS-I92/APIS data includes all carriers with international service to/from the U.S. including regional carriers, both affiliated and non-affiliated, and general aviation. The I-92/APIS however is not inclusive of Pacific inter-port or other ‘beyond’ traffic.

Performance metrics reported are:

  • Total air travel (arrivals + departures),
  • U.S. citizen and foreign citizen air travelers,
  • U.S. flag and foreign flag carriers,
  • Top U.S. and foreign airports.