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U.S. Airline June 2020 Passengers Decrease 80% from June 2019 but Rise 93% from May 2020

Bureau of Transportation Statistics;

U.S. airlines carried 80% fewer scheduled service passengers in June 2020 than in June 2019, according to preliminary data filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) by 20 airlines that carry more than 90% of the passengers. Despite the large annual drop from pre-pandemic numbers a year earlier (see graphic), when compared to the previous month U.S. airlines carried almost twice as many passengers (93% more) in June 2020 than in May 2020.

The 80% decline was less than the annual decrease than in both April (96%) or May (90%).

The large airlines carried 16.3 million passengers in June 2020 (preliminary), up from 8.4 million passengers on all U.S. airlines in May 2020 and up from 3 million in April 2020, which was the lowest monthly total in BTS records dating back to 1974. The previous low was 14.6 million passengers in February 1975.

Preliminary June 2020 passenger numbers (20 carriers reporting):

  • Total: 16.3 million passengers, down 80% from June 2019 (81.4M) but up 93% from May 2020
  • Domestic: 15.9 million passengers, down 77% from June 2019 (70.6M)
  • International: 395 thousand passengers, down 96% from June 2019 (10.8M)

U.S. airline traffic reports are filed monthly with BTS. Final June data will be released on Sept. 11.  Complete international data by origin and destination, which is under a six-month confidentiality restriction, will be released on Dec. 10.

Systemwide Passengers

June 2020 was the second consecutive month that the annual decrease in the number of U.S. airlines passengers was less than annual change in the previous month. The annual declines beginning in March followed 29 consecutive months of increases from the same month of the previous year, dating back to October 2017.

Table 1: Systemwide Percent Change in US Airlines Scheduled Service Passengers from the Same Month of the Previous Year, 2016-2020Year-to-Year Percent Change

  2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020
January 3.0 2.9 4.0 5.6
February -0.2 5.7 3.0 6.7
March 3.4 4.6 5.1 -51.3
April 4.5 4.8 3.8 -96.1
May 3.0 4.9 5.2 -89.6
June 3.4 5.0 3.7 -80.0*
July 3.8 5.2 3.6  
August 5.0 5.0 3.4  
September -2.3 5.8 5.7  
October 4.6 3.9 4.1  
November 4.6 4.5 0.5  
December 3.5 3.6 8.8  
Annual 3.1 4.7 4.2  

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Market* June 2020 data is preliminary

Domestic Passengers

Domestic passengers on U.S. airlines declined 77% from June 2019 to June 2020 (preliminary), following larger annual declines in May (88%) and April (96%). The number of domestic passengers rose year-to-year for 29 consecutive months beginning in October 2017 before the 51% decline in March.

Table 2: Domestic Percent Change in US Airlines Scheduled Service Passengers from the Same Month of the Previous Year, 2016-2020Year-to-Year Percent Change

  2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020
January 3.1 3.2 3.9 6.2
February -0.1 5.9 3.0 7.4
March 3.8 4.2 5.4 -51.0
April 3.7 5.7 3.7 -95.7
May 2.7 5.3 5.2 -88.5
June 3.1 5.3 3.6 -77.4*
July 3.7 5.8 3.8  
August 5.0 5.5 3.4  
September -2.5 5.8 5.8  
October 4.7 3.8 4.2  
November 4.5 4.4 0.2  
December 3.7 3.7 9.5  
Annual 3.0 4.9 4.3  

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market* June 2020 data is preliminary

International Passengers

The number of U.S. airlines international passengers declined 96% from June 2019 to June 2020 (preliminary), following annual decreases of 99% in April and 98% in May. The declines beginning in March followed 22 consecutive months of increases from the same month of the previous year, dating back to May 2018.

Table 3: International Percent Change in US Airlines Scheduled Service Passengers from the Same Month of the Previous Year, 2016-2020Year-to-Year Percent Change

  2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020
January 2.1 1.0 4.5 1.9
February -1.2 4.6 3.4 0.8
March 0.4 7.2 3.1 -53.3
April 9.8 -1.0 4.3 -98.6
May 5.4 2.3 5.3 -98.1
June 5.3 3.4 4.2 96.4*
July 4.6 1.6 2.2  
August 4.9 2.0 3.9  
September -1.1 5.9 4.6  
October 3.2 4.3 3.2  
November 5.4 4.7 2.2  
December 1.7 3.2 3.6  
Annual 3.5 3.1 3.8  

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 International Market* June 2020 data is preliminary

Reporting Notes

Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial U.S. air carriers detailing operations, passenger traffic and freight traffic. This release includes data received by BTS from 20 U.S. airlines as of Aug 3.

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