Airline Financial Data

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1st Quarter 2017 Airline Financial Data

Release Number: 
BTS 30-17
Date: 
Monday, June 19, 2017

Download Excel Tables 

U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reported an after-tax net profit of $1.9 billion in the first quarter of 2017, down from $2.0 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 and down from $3.1 billion in the first quarter of 2016, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reported today (Table 1).  

(billions of dollars)
billions of dollars ($)
1Q20163.1
2Q20164.6
3Q20163.8
4Q20162.0
Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Schedule P1.2 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295

The 24 U.S. scheduled service passenger airlines reported an after-tax net profit as a group for the 16th consecutive quarter.

In addition to the after-tax net profit of $ 1.9 billion based on net income reports, the scheduled service passenger airlines reported a $3.3 billion pre-tax operating profit in the first quarter of 2017, down from $4.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 and down from $5.6 billion in the first quarter of 2016. The airlines reported a pre-tax operating profit - as a group - for the 24th consecutive quarter (Tables 1, 4).

Net profit or loss and operating profit or loss are two different measures of airline financial performance. Net profit or loss includes non-operating income and expenses, nonrecurring items or income taxes. Operating profit or loss is calculated from operating revenues and expenses before taxes and other nonrecurring items.

Total operating revenue for all U.S. passenger airlines in the January-March first-quarter of 2017 was $39.7 billion. Airlines collected $29.4 billion from fares, 74.0 percent of total first-quarter operating revenue (Table 4).

Total operating expenses for all passenger airlines in the first-quarter of 2017 were $36.4 billion, of which fuel costs accounted for $5.9 billion, or 16.3 percent, and labor costs accounted for $12.8 billion, or 35.1 percent (Table 4).

In the first quarter, scheduled passenger airlines collected a total of $1.0 billion in baggage fees, 2.6 percent of total operating revenue, and $723.6 million from reservation change fees, 1.8 percent of total operating revenue. Fees are included for calculations of net income, operating revenue and operating profit or loss (Table 4).

Baggage fees and reservation change fees are the only ancillary fees paid by passengers that are reported to BTS as separate items. Other fees, such as revenue from seating assignments and on-board sales of food, beverages, pillows, blankets, and entertainment are combined in different categories and cannot be identified separately.

See airline financial data press releases and the airline financial databases  for historical data.

Domestic

From domestic operations, U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reported an after-tax net profit of $1.9 billion in the first quarter of 2017, up from $1.8 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 and down from $2.1 billion in the first quarter of 2016 (Table 2). 

(billions of dollars)
billions of dollars ($)
1Q20162.1
2Q20163.3
3Q20162.6
4Q20161.8
1Q20171.9
Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Schedule P1.2 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295

The 24 U.S. scheduled service passenger airlines reported an after-tax net profit from domestic operations as a group for the 16th consecutive quarter.

In addition to the after-tax net profit of $1.9 billion based on net income reports, the scheduled service passenger airlines reported a $3.0 billion pre-tax operating profit from domestic operations in the first quarter of 2017, down from $3.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 and down from $4.3 billion in the first quarter of 2016. The airlines reported a pre-tax operating profit from domestic operations - as a group - for the 24th consecutive quarter (Table 2).

Total operating revenue from domestic operations for all U.S. passenger airlines in the January-March first-quarter of 2017 was $30.4 billion. Airlines collected $21.7 billion from fares, 71.5 percent of total first-quarter operating revenue (Tables 2, 5).

Total operating expenses from domestic operations for all passenger airlines in the first-quarter of 2017 were $27.4 billion, of which fuel costs accounted for $4.1 billion, or 14.8 percent, and labor costs accounted for $9.4 billion, or 34.2 percent (Tables 2, 5).

In the first quarter, passenger airlines collected from domestic operations a total of $818 million in baggage fees, 2.7 percent of total operating revenue, and $477 million from reservation change fees, 1.6 percent of total operating revenue (Tables 2, 5).

International

The 17 U.S. scheduled passenger airlines that operate internationally reported an after-tax net profit of $86 million in the first quarter of 2017 from their international operations, down from $244 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and down from $985 million in the first quarter of 2016 (Table 3).

(billions of dollars)
billions of dollars ($)
1Q20161.0
2Q20161.3
3Q20161.2
4Q20160.2
Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Schedule P1.2 http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295

The 17 U.S. scheduled service passenger airlines reported an after-tax net profit from international operations as a group for the ninth consecutive quarter.

In addition to the after-tax net profit of $86 million based on net income reports, the scheduled service passenger airlines reported a $277 million pre-tax operating profit from international operations in the first quarter of 2017, down from $569 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and down from $1.3 billion in the first quarter of 2016. The airlines reported a pre-tax operating profit from international operations - as a group - for the 20th consecutive quarter (Table 3).

Total operating revenue from international operations for all U.S. passenger airlines in the January-March first-quarter of 2017 was $9.3 billion. Airlines collected $7.7 billion from fares, 82.3 percent of total first-quarter operating revenue (Tables 3, 6).

Total operating expenses from international operations for all passenger airlines in the first-quarter of 2017 were $9.0 billion, of which fuel costs accounted for $1.9 billion, or 20.7 percent, and labor costs accounted for $3.4 billion, or 37.8 percent (Tables 3, 6).

In the first quarter, passenger airlines collected from international operations a total of $209 million in baggage fees, 2.2 percent of total operating revenue, and $246 million from reservation change fees, 2.6 percent of total operating revenue (Tables 3, 6).

1st Quarter Margins for All Scheduled Passenger Airlines

All U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reported a combined net income margin of 4.9 percent in the first quarter of 2017, down from a net margin of 7.8 percent in the first quarter of 2016. Net margin is the net income or loss as a percentage of operating revenue. These airlines reported an operating profit margin of 8.2 percent in the first quarter of 2017, down from 14.3 percent in the first quarter of 2016. Operating margin is the operating profit or loss as a percentage of operating revenue (Table 4).

Reporting notes

Additional airline financial data can be found on the BTS website, including industry statistics for other individual low-cost and regional airlines. See tables for operating profit/loss, operating revenue and fuel cost and consumption. See the BTS financial databases for more detailed data.

By regulation, for the quarter ending March 31, airlines that operate at least one aircraft that has more than 60 seats or the capacity to carry a payload of passengers, cargo and fuel weighing more than 18,000 pounds must report financial data to BTS by May 15. The airline filings are subject to a process of quality assurance and data validations before release to the public.

Revised carrier data and late data filings will be made available monthly on TranStats on the Monday following the second Tuesday of the month. All data are subject to revision. BTS will release second-quarter 2017 data on Sept. 18.

Reports from 24 airlines in 1Q 2017, (Millions of dollars)
1Q 20162Q 20163Q 20164Q 20161Q 2017Dollar Change 1Q2016-1Q2017
Net Income3,0564,6493,8252,0101,939-1,117
Operating Profit/Loss5,6057,8737,2484,1023,267-2,337
Operating Revenue*39,15143,50544,40641,10339,696544
Fares29,00832,46233,32530,45029,387379
Baggage Fees9831,0731,1011,0291,02744
Reservation Change Fees749755731661724-26
Operating Expenses33,54735,63237,15837,00136,4282,881
Fuel 4,8605,5666,0965,8445,9381,078
Labor11,79812,21312,74812,95512,784986
Notes: 

* Passenger airline operating revenue includes four other categories.  1) Transport-related is revenue from services which grow from and are incidental to the air transportation services performed by the air carrier. Examples are in-flight onboard sales (food, liquor, pillows, etc), code share revenues, revenues from associated businesses (aircraft maintenance, fuel sales, restaurants, vending machines, etc). 2) Miscellaneous operating revenue includes pet transportation, sale of frequent flyer award miles to airline business partners and standby passenger fees.   3)  Cargo revenue from transporting cargo in belly of aircraft.  4)  Mail revenue from transporting mail in belly of aircraft.  See the P1.2 database http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedules P1.2 and P6

Reports from 24 airlines in 1Q 2017, (Millions of dollars)
Domestic Operations1Q 20162Q 20163Q 20164Q 20161Q 2017Dollar Change 1Q2016-1Q2017
Net Income2,0723,3282,5991,7661,853-219
Operating Profit/Loss4,2926,1055,4423,5332,991-1,301
Operating Revenue*28,72732,46332,93531,62230,3951,668
Fares21,35923,65023,59822,62821,730372
Baggage Fees77384886882281845
Reservation Change Fees481483468439477-4
Operating Expenses24,43426,35827,49328,08927,4042,970
Fuel 3,3233,7624,0804,0384,069746
Labor8,5308,7679,1729,5129,370841
Notes: 

* Passenger airline operating revenue includes four other categories.  1) Transport-related is revenue from services which grow from and are incidental to the air transportation services performed by the air carrier. Examples are in-flight onboard sales (food, liquor, pillows, etc), code share revenues, revenues from associated businesses (aircraft maintenance, fuel sales, restaurants, vending machines, etc). 2) Miscellaneous operating revenue includes pet transportation, sale of frequent flyer award miles to airline business partners and standby passenger fees.   3)  Cargo revenue from transporting cargo in belly of aircraft.  4)  Mail revenue from transporting mail in belly of aircraft.  See the P1.2 database http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedules P1.2 and P6

Reports from 17 airlines in 1Q 2017, (Millions of dollars)
International Operations1Q 20162Q 20163Q 20164Q 20161Q 2017Dollar Change 1Q2016-1Q2017
Net Income9851,3211,22624486-899
Operating Profit/Loss1,3121,7681,806569277-1,036
Operating Revenue*10,42511,04211,4709,4829,301-1,124
Fares7,6508,8129,7277,8227,6567
Baggage Fees210225233207209-2
Reservation Change Fees268273263222246-22
Operating Expenses9,1129,2749,6658,9139,024-89
Fuel 1,5371,8042,0161,8061,868331
Labor3,2683,4463,5763,4433,414145
Notes: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedules P1.2 and P6

Source: 

* Passenger airline operating revenue includes four other categories.  1) Transport-related is revenue from services which grow from and are incidental to the air transportation services performed by the air carrier. Examples are in-flight onboard sales (food, liquor, pillows, etc), code share revenues, revenues from associated businesses (aircraft maintenance, fuel sales, restaurants, vending machines, etc). 2) Miscellaneous operating revenue includes pet transportation, sale of frequent flyer award miles to airline business partners and standby passenger fees.   3)  Cargo revenue from transporting cargo in belly of aircraft.   4)  Mail revenue from transporting mail in belly of aircraft.  See the P1.2 database http://www.transtats.bts.gov/Fields.asp?Table_ID=295.

Reports from 24 airlines in 1Q 2017, (Millions of dollars)
1Q 20161Q 2017Change2016-2017 % Change% of 1Q 2017 Revenue or Expense Total
Operating Revenue
Passenger Fares (scheduled/charter)29,008.229,386.7378.51.3074.03
Cargo602.8645.943.17.151.63
Baggage983.21,027.143.94.472.59
Reservation Changes749.3723.6-25.7-3.431.82
Transport-Related*6,517.56,577.560.00.9216.57
Other**1,290.31,334.744.43.443.36
Total Operating Revenue***39,151.339,695.5544.21.39100.00
Operating Expense
Fuel4,860.35,937.51,077.222.1616.30
Labor11,797.712,783.9986.28.3635.09
Rentals2,190.32,218.328.01.286.09
Depreciation & Amortization2,010.12,192.2182.19.066.02
Landing Fees692.6714.021.43.091.96
Maintenance Materials628.0636.38.31.321.75
Transport-Related*4,298.84,498.7199.94.6512.35
Other****7,068.97,447.2378.35.3520.44
Total Operating Expense33,546.736,428.12,881.48.59100.00
Profits or Losses
Operating Profit5,604.53,267.4-2,337.1-41.70N/A
Operating Margin# (%)14.38.2-6.1N/AN/A
Nonoperating Income/(Expense)##-895.6-700.6647.150.00N/A
Pre-Tax Income4,708.92,566.6-2,142.3-45.49N/A
Income Tax Benefit/(Expense)-1,652.5-628.21,024.3-61.98N/A
Other Income/(Expense)0.00.00.00.0N/A
Net Income3,056.41,938.6-1,117.8-36.57N/A
Net Margin### (%)7.84.9-2.9N/AN/A
Notes: 
* Transport-Related is revenue/expenses from services which grow from and are incidental to the air transportation services performed by the air carrier. Examples are in-flight onboard sales (food, liquor, pillows, etc), code share revenues, revenues and expenses from associated businesses (aircraft maintenance, fuel sales, restaurants, vending machines, etc).  
** Other revenue includes miscellaneous operating revenue (including pet transportation, sale of frequent flyer award miles to airline business partners and standby passenger fees) and public service revenues subsidy.
*** Based on U.S. Department of Transportation accounting standards, Total Operating Revenues are overstated by code share revenues which are included in both the mainline Transport-Related Revenues and the code share Passenger Revenue. Code share revenues are expensed out in the mainline Transport-Related Expense to allow a true Operating Profit(Loss). This reporting may understate all components of operating revenue, including Passenger Revenue, as a percentage of Total Operating Revenue.
**** Other expense includes purchase of materials such as passenger food and other materials; and purchase of services such as advertising, communication, insurance, outside flight equipment maintenance, traffic commissions and other services. 
# Operating margin is the operating profit or loss as a percentage of operating revenue
## Nonoperating Income and Expense includes interest on long-term debt and capital leases, other interest expense, foreign exchange gains and losses, capital gains and losses and other income and expenses.
### Net margin is the net income or loss as a percentage of operating revenue.

Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedules P1.2 and P6

Reports from 24 airlines in 1Q 2017, (Millions of dollars)
1Q 20161Q 2017Change2016-2017 % Change% of 1Q 2017 Revenue or Expense Total
Operating Revenue
Passenger Fares (scheduled/charter)21,358.521,730.4371.91.7471.49
Cargo209.0230.321.310.190.76
Baggage773.0818.445.45.872.69
Reservation Changes480.9477.3-3.6-0.751.57
Transport-Related*4,874.86,046.51,171.724.0419.89
Other**1,030.41,092.161.75.993.59
Total Operating Revenue***28,726.630,395.01,668.45.81100.00
Operating Expense
Fuel3,323.44,069.3745.922.4414.85
Labor8,529.69,370.4840.89.8634.19
Rentals1,668.41,724.656.23.376.29
Depreciation & Amortization1,421.01,571.3150.310.585.73
Landing Fees522.6550.027.45.242.01
Maintenance Materials460.5485.324.85.391.77
Transport-Related*3,555.84,312.6756.821.2815.74
Other****4,953.15,320.8367.77.4219.42
Total Operating Expense24,434.427,404.32,969.912.15100.00
Profits or Losses
Operating Profit4,292.22,990.7-1,301.5-30.32N/A
Operating Margin# (%)14.99.8-5.1N/AN/A
Nonoperating Income/(Expense)##-767.1-577.6189.5-24.70N/A
Pre-Tax Income3,525.02,413.0-1,112.0-31.55N/A
Income Tax Benefit/(Expense)-1,453.2-560.4892.8-61.44N/A
Other Income/(Expense)0.00.00.00.0N/A
Net Income2,071.81,852.7-219.1-10.58N/A
Net Margin### (%)7.26.1-1.1N/AN/A
Notes: 
* Transport-Related is revenue/expenses from services which grow from and are incidental to the air transportation services performed by the air carrier. Examples are in-flight onboard sales (food, liquor, pillows, etc), code share revenues, revenues and expenses from associated businesses (aircraft maintenance, fuel sales, restaurants, vending machines, etc).  
** Other revenue includes miscellaneous operating revenue (including pet transportation, sale of frequent flyer award miles to airline business partners and standby passenger fees) and public service revenues subsidy.
*** Based on U.S. Department of Transportation accounting standards, Total Operating Revenues are overstated by code share revenues which are included in both the mainline Transport-Related Revenues and the code share Passenger Revenue. Code share revenues are expensed out in the mainline Transport-Related Expense to allow a true Operating Profit(Loss). This reporting may understate all components of operating revenue, including Passenger Revenue, as a percentage of Total Operating Revenue.
**** Other expense includes purchase of materials such as passenger food and other materials; and purchase of services such as advertising, communication, insurance, outside flight equipment maintenance, traffic commissions and other services. 
# Operating margin is the operating profit or loss as a percentage of operating revenue
## Nonoperating Income and Expense includes interest on long-term debt and capital leases, other interest expense, foreign exchange gains and losses, capital gains and losses and other income and expenses.
### Net margin is the net income or loss as a percentage of operating revenue.
Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedules P1.2 and P6

Reports from 17 airlines in 1Q 2017, (millions of dollars)
1Q 20161Q 2017Change2016-2017 % Change% of 1Q 2017 Revenue or Expense Total
Operating Revenue
Passenger Fares (scheduled/charter)7,649.77,656.36.60.0982.32
Cargo393.8415.621.85.544.47
Baggage210.2208.7-1.5-0.712.24
Reservation Changes268.4246.3-22.1-8.232.65
Transport-Related*1,642.7531.0-1,111.7-67.685.71
Other**259.9242.6-17.3-6.662.61
Total Operating Revenue***10,424.79,300.5-1,124.2-10.78100.00
Operating Expense
Fuel1,536.91,868.2331.321.5620.70
Labor3,268.13,413.5145.44.4537.83
Rentals521.9493.7-28.2-5.405.47
Depreciation & Amortization589.1620.931.85.406.88
Landing Fees170.0164.0-6.0-3.531.82
Maintenance Materials167.5151.0-16.5-9.851.67
Transport-Related*743.0186.1-556.9-74.952.06
Other****2,115.82,126.410.60.5023.56
Total Operating Expense9,112.39,023.8-88.5-0.97100.00
Profits or Losses
Operating Profit1,312.3276.7-1,035.6-78.91N/A
Operating Margin# (%)12.63.0-9.6N/AN/A
Nonoperating Income/(Expense)##-128.5-123.05.5-4.28N/A
Pre-Tax Income1,183.9153.6-1,030.3-87.03N/A
Income Tax Benefit/(Expense)-199.3-67.8131.5-65.98N/A
Other Income/(Expense)0.00.00.00.0N/A
Net Income984.685.9-898.7-91.28N/A
Net Margin### (%)9.40.9-8.5N/AN/A
Notes: 
* Transport-Related is revenue/expenses from services which grow from and are incidental to the air transportation services performed by the air carrier. Examples are in-flight onboard sales (food, liquor, pillows, etc), code share revenues, revenues and expenses from associated businesses (aircraft maintenance, fuel sales, restaurants, vending machines, etc).  
** Other revenue includes miscellaneous operating revenue (including pet transportation, sale of frequent flyer award miles to airline business partners and standby passenger fees) and public service revenues subsidy.
*** Based on U.S. Department of Transportation accounting standards, Total Operating Revenues are overstated by code share revenues which are included in both the mainline Transport-Related Revenues and the code share Passenger Revenue. Code share revenues are expensed out in the mainline Transport-Related Expense to allow a true Operating Profit(Loss). This reporting may understate all components of operating revenue, including Passenger Revenue, as a percentage of Total Operating Revenue.
**** Other expense includes purchase of materials such as passenger food and other materials; and purchase of services such as advertising, communication, insurance, outside flight equipment maintenance, traffic commissions and other services. 
# Operating margin is the operating profit or loss as a percentage of operating revenue
## Nonoperating Income and Expense includes interest on long-term debt and capital leases, other interest expense, foreign exchange gains and losses, capital gains and losses and other income and expenses.
### Net margin is the net income or loss as a percentage of operating revenue.
Source: 

Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Form 41; Schedules P1.2 and P6