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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.

 

International

Passengers (mlns)

% Chg Y-o-Y

Market Share

% Pt. Chg.

U.S. Citizens

100.844

7.9%

45.7%

1.0

Non-U.S. Citizens

119.999

3.7%

54.3%

-1.0

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Flag Carriers (3)

106.901

2.2%

48.4%

-1.6

Foreign Flag Carriers

113.943

9.0%

51.6%

1.6

 

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

Passengers (mlns)

% Chg Y-o-Y

Market Share

% Pt. Chg.

U.S. Citizens

73.008

6.4%

44.6%

0.2

Non-U.S. Citizens

90.546

5.2%

55.4%

-0.2

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Flag Carriers (3)

75.687

2.4%

46.3%

-1.5

Foreign Flag Carriers

87.867

8.8%

53.7%

1.5

 

Overseas regions performed as follows:

 

Overseas Regions

Passengers (mlns)

% of all International

% Change

2016/2015

Europe

62.532

28%

5.3%

Asia

34.021

15%

8.3%

Caribbean

23.084

10%

4.4%

South America

15.584

7%

0.8%

Central America

11.578

5%

6.7%

Middle East

10.475

5%

10.6%

Oceania

4.971

2%

6.8%

Africa

1.309

1%

-1.4%

 

 

China to U.S. ‘Air Arrivals’ (2)forDecember 2016:

 

 

Non-U.S. Citizens

(Originating PRC)

U.S. Citizens

(Returning)

Total Inbound on Non-stop Flights

Load Factor (Estimate)

Passengers

190,733

103,127

298,860

73.9%

% Chg. Dec.16/15

21.7%

12.4%

18.3%

-1.6 % pts

 

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.

 

 

 

  • China to U.S. ‘Air Arrivals’ (2)Annual 2016:

 

 

Non-U.S. Citizens

(Originating PRC)

U.S. Citizens

(Returning)

Total Inbound on Non-stop Flights

Load Factor (Estimate)

Passengers

2,549,809

1,186,680

3,736,489

81.8%

% Chg. 2016/15

17.6%

20.8%

18.6%

No change

 

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

 

  • Cuba:The U.S. - Cuba aviation agreement signed in February 2016 is an informal arrangement (non-binding) to re-establish scheduled air services for the first time in 50 years. The agreement resulted in 20 scheduled frequencies per day to Havana for U.S. carriers and 10 scheduled frequencies per day to other Cuban cities.

 

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.

 

Canadian Region

Passengers (mlns)

% Chg Y-o-Y

Market Share

% Pt. Chg.

U.S. Citizens

9.329

13.5%

32.1%

3.0

Non-U.S. Citizens

19.733

-1.3%

67.9%

-3.0

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Flag Carriers (3)

10.940

-6.5%

37.6%

-3.9

Foreign Flag Carriers

18.122

9.7%

62.4%

3.9

 

 

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.

 

Mexican Region

Passengers (mlns)

% Chg Y-o-Y

Market Share

% Pt. Chg.

U.S. Citizens

18.507

11.6%

65.6%

2.4

Non-U.S. Citizens

9.719

0.8%

34.4%

-2.4

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Flag Carriers (3)

20.273

6.6%

71.8%

-0.7

Foreign Flag Carriers

7.954

10.4%

28.2%

0.7

 

Annual 2016

 

Top 10 Foreign Airports (Passenger Traffic to/From U.S.):
85.1 million Passengers, 38% of Total International Air Traffic
Passengers (mlns) % Chg Y-o-Y
1. London Heathrow (LHR) 14.802 0.0%
2. Toronto (YYZ) 13.28 7.3%
3. Tokyo Narita (NRT) 9.655 3.9%
4. Cancun (CUN) 8.895 7.8%
5. Mexico City (MEX) 7.357 7.5%
6. Paris/de Gaulle (CDG) 7.071 0.6%
7. Frankfurt (FRA) 6.822 0.1%
8. Incheon (ICN) 6.374 6.1%
9. Vancouver (YVR) 5.642 7.3%
10. Amsterdam (AMS) 5.004 2.3%
Top 10 U.S. Airports (Passenger Traffic to/from Foreign Airports):
152.1 million Passengers, 68% of Total Air Traffic
Passengers (mlns) % Chg Y-o-Y
1. New York (JFK) 32.207 5.8%
2. Los Angeles (LAX) 23.073 10.6%
3. Miami (MIA) 21.574 1.3%
4. San Francisco (SFO) 12.491 10.9%
5. Chicago (ORD) 12.457 2.8%
6. Newark (EWR) 12.247 2.3%
7. Atlanta (ATL) 11.538 3.1%
8. Houston (IAH) 10.929 2.1%
9. Dallas-Ft Worth (DFW) 8.183 3.7%
10. Washington Dulles (IAD) 7.421 2.7%
Top 10 Airlines (3) Serving U.S. International Non-Stop Markets:
121.0 million Passengers, 55% of Total Air Traffic
Passengers (mlns) % Chg Y-o-Y
1. United Airlines (UA) 30.374 -0.4%
2. American Airlines (AA) 29.06 -4.0%
3. Delta Air Lines (DL) 24.705 2.4%
4. British Airways (BA) 7.373 2.0%
5. JetBlue Airways (B6) 7.19 11.8%
6. Lufthansa (LH) 5.858 2.9%
7. Air Canada (AC-mainline) 4.489 10.9%
8. WestJet (WS) 4.409 1.9%
9. AeroMexico (AM) 3.753 1.1%
10. Virgin Atlantic (VS) 3.742 2.5%

 

Gulf Carrier Air Traffic to/from the U.S. - 2016
Passengers (mlns) % Chg Y-o-Y
12 Emirates (EK) 3.550 15.4% (to/from Dubai (DXB); limited service from Milan (MXP)
23 Qatar (QR) 1.863 46.5% (to/from Doha (DOH)
39 Etihad (EY) 1.250 6.6% (to/from Abu Dhabi (AUH)
6.663 20.7%

 

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
National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO)
1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 10003
Washington, D.C. 20230
Phone: (202) 482-0140

Website:https://travel.trade.gov/

Email:ntto@trade.gov

___________________

(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:

  • Total international 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.