Air Transport Association reports sharpest drop in passenger demand in a decade


The Air Transport Association of America (ATA) today reported that passenger revenue 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 latest results continue to reflect the weak global economy and the lingering impact of the H1N1 (swine) influenza outbreak.

The number of passengers traveling on US airlines 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.

“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 US$1.1 trillion in US economic activity and more than 10 million US jobs. On a daily basis, US airlines operate nearly 30,000 flights in 77 countries, using more than 6,000 aircraft to carry an average of two million passengers.