Monday, August 02, 2010

Record Airline Load Factors

[Above: Available seats: Those were the days!]

Good news for airlines, not so good news for you and me. Airplanes are taking off more full than ever as shown by load factors -- once again last month.

Continental Airlines is always the first to report monthly operational statistics, and for July, its load factor -- the average percentage of seats full on flights -- set another record. The rest of the U.S. airlines are expected to report similar results in the next few days.

Continental today said its July consolidated (mainline plus regional, domestic plus international) load factor as 88 percent, 0.7 points above the July 2009 figure. The mainline load factor was 88.5 percent, 0.7 points above the July 2009 figure.

Both load factors were all-time records.

But here's the big number: The domestic mainline load factor was 89.1 percent, 1.4 points below the July 2009 figure. Another record.

In July 2010, Continental flew 9.1 billion consolidated revenue passenger miles (RPMs) and 10.3 billion consolidated available seat miles (ASMs), resulting in a consolidated traffic increase of 2.5 percent on a capacity increase of 1.7 percent as compared to July 2009. In July 2010, Continental flew 8.2 billion mainline RPMs and 9.2 billion mainline ASMs, resulting in a mainline traffic increase of 2.4 percent and a mainline capacity increase of 1.6 percent compared to the same period last year. Domestic mainline traffic was 3.9 billion RPMs in July 2010, down 2.5 percent from July 2009, and domestic mainline capacity was 4.4 billion ASMs, down 0.9 percent from July 2009.


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