February 16, 2017
U.S.-International Air Passenger Traffic a Record 220.8 Million in 2016
Total U.S.-International Traffic up Seven Percent in December, Six Percent for the Year
U.S. Citizens Accounted for 46 Percent; U.S. Airlines Carried 48 Percent of All Traffic
China to U.S. Traffic up 22 Percent in December and 18 Percent in 2016
International air traffic to/from the U.S.(1) totaled 220.8 million passengers in 2016, a six percent increase over 2015.
U.S. citizen travel (100.8 million) was up eight percent and composed 46 percent of all air traffic, increasing market share. Non-U.S. citizen air travelers (120.0 million) increased by four percent with their market share at 54 percent.
U.S. airlines carried 106.9 million passengers, up two percent, with their share at 48 percent, down from 2015. Foreign flags carried 113.9 million passengers, up nine percent from 2015.
The following, overseas, Canada and Mexico regions are ‘breakouts’ of international:
Overseas air traffic accounted for 163.6 million passengers, 74 percent of all international, and grew by six percent in 2016.
U.S. citizen travel (73.0 million) was up six percent composing 45 percent of overseas air traffic. Non-U.S. citizen air travel (90.5 million) was up by five percent with their market share at 55 percent.
U.S. airlines carried 75.7 million passengers, up two percent, their share at 46 percent. Foreign flags carried 87.9 million passengers, up nine percent from 2015.
Overseas regions performed as follows:
China to U.S. ‘Air Arrivals’ (2)forDecember 2016:
Estimated capacity (404,394 seats) on inbound flights, up 20.8 percent year-over-year in December, exceeded 18.3 percent passenger growth. Average load factor declined 1.6 points.
Chinese carriers increased average weekly frequencies from 143 to 186, up 30 percent.
U.S. carriers increased average weekly frequencies from 123 to 137, up 11 percent.
Estimated capacity (4,569,098 seats) on inbound flights was up 18.7 percent (2016/2015), slightly above the 18.6 percent growth in passenger traffic.
Chinese carriers increased average weekly frequencies from 132 to 171 (‘cap’), up 30 percent.
U.S. carriers increased average weekly frequencies from 125 to 134, up seven percent
Actual scheduled serviced from the U.S. to Cuba totaled 2,255 flights in 2016 with almost half (1,093 flights) in December of which 587 were to Havana (HAV). Passenger traffic for 2016 will be reported next month.
North American markets accounted for 26 percent of U.S. international air traffic flows.
Canadianair traffic accounted for 29.1 million passengers, 13 percent of all international traffic, and increased by three percent.
U.S. citizen travel (9.3 million) increased 14 percent and composed 32 percent of air traffic. Canadian, and other foreign national citizen air travelers transiting through Canada (19.7 million), declined one percent. Market share declined to 68 percent.
U.S. flags carried 10.9 million passengers, down seven percent from 2015, with their share at almost 38 percent. Foreign flags carried 18.1 million passengers, up 10 percent, increasing market share to 62 percent.
Mexico air traffic accounted for 28.2 million passengers, 13 percent of all international traffic, and was up eight percent.
The United States -Mexico 'liberalized' Air Transport Agreement signed on December 18, 2015 went into effect (‘in force’) on August 21, 2016.
U.S. citizen travel (18.5 million) increased 12 percent and composed 66 percent of air traffic. Mexicans, and other foreign national air travelers (9.7 million) transiting through Mexico, increased by one percent, with market share 34 percent.
U.S. flags carried 20.3 million passengers, up seven percent from 2015, however their share slipped to 72 percent. Foreign flags carried 8.0 million passengers, up 10 percent increasing share slightly to 28 percent.
The Gulf carrier passenger share was 3.0 percent of all international passenger traffic to/from the U.S. This share was up from 2.1 percent in 2014 and 2.6 percent in 2015. Almost 3.5 million passengers were inbound to the U.S. in 2015 of which 2.0 million were foreign travelers. Of the latter, those on visitor visas spent money (lodging, food, shopping, entertainment, transport, etc.) in the country contributing to the U.S. export balance.
26 Norwegian Air Services carried 1.758 million passengers, up 57 percent from 2015. Almost 516,000 of the arrivals were foreign travelers. This represents 0.8% of all air traffic in 2015.
Monthly % changes (see graph):
Before the end of February 2017 NTTO will publish the Annual 2016 U.S. Citizen Outbound, all mode travel, after the aggregate Canadian and Mexican departure data is received from Stats Canada and Banco de Mexico, respectively. (U.S. Citizen outbound is a component in the estimation of U.S. travel ‘imports’.) For November 2016 YTD https://travel.trade.gov/view/m-2016-O-001/index.html
A description of the “APIS” program: https://travel.trade.gov/research/programs/i92/index.html includes subscription prices for detail reports in excel and adobe.
U.S. Department of Commerce
International Trade Administration
(1)These reflect non-stop air passenger -only data sourced from DHS/CBP APIS which derives data from airline flight manifests of all ‘on-boards’ from all carriers serving the U.S. on international routes. Although these numbers include ‘visitors,’ according to UN WTO definitions, air traffic also includes transits, immigrants and other non-visitor visa types.A portion of the non-stop passenger traffic to i.e., 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. Also, some traffic to the Middle East will connect through the U.A.E.
(2) Non-stop air arrivals from China (PRC). Non-U.S. citizens assumed to be mostly Chinese citizens. All inbound from China, including U.S. citizens returning, compared to available seats (DIIO/Innovata) to estimate load factor. Note: PRC travelers also connect via Asian hubs or Canada when traveling to U.S.
(3) Numbers for U.S. carriers varies from what has been reported by Airlines for America. A4A reported mainline numbers for their member carriers. A4A includes Canadian traffic in the Domestic region. 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-92APIS, however is not inclusive of Pacific inter-port or other 'beyond' traffic
Performance metrics reported are: