Traffic and fare data by airline and route can provide valuable insights into market trends, demand, and competition. By analyzing this data, airlines can optimize their pricing strategies, plan their capacity, and make informed decisions about their route network. The data can also be used for market and competitive analysis, helping airlines identify profitable routes and gain a competitive advantage.

According to preliminary true O&D level data released by FlightBI this week, the US domestic air traffic grew 7% from April 2023 to May 2023 and there is also a healthy growth year over year. On the other hand, the average domestic airfare decreased by 1%.

Volume Trend

The US air market displayed an upward trend in passenger volume according to the latest Origin and Destination (O&D) data. In May 2023, US domestic air travel registered 53.7 million passengers, a markable increase from 50.2 million in April. The May 2023 traffic is well above the pre-pandemic passenger count of 50.9 million recorded in May 2019. Concurrently, the international sector of the US air market was also increased by 7% from 18.6 million to 19.9 million.

Figure 1: US Domestic and International Air Traffic by Month

Airfare Trend

Airfare trends in the domestic market have shown a slight decrease, as evidenced by the average gross fare for air travel from $221 in April to $219 in May. Simultaneously, the average net fare demonstrated a similar downward trend, de-escalating from $190 to $188 during the same time frame.

Figure 2: US Domestic Average Airfare by Month

The declining jet fuel price in recent months helped on the decrease of average airfare. Data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) indicates a decrease in jet fuel prices from April to May 2023, as shown in the chart below.

Figure 3: US Jet Fuel Price

Load Factor Trend

The average load factor in May recovered to 82.0% from 79.8% recorded in April. As illustrated in Figure 4 below, this increase can be attributed to a faster increase in demand than supply within the period. The load factor improvement was across the board because of airline seasonality, but LCCs like Frontier and Spirit led the growth.

Figure 4: US Airlines’ Average Load Factor by Month

Month Over Month Comparison

Between May and April 2023, Spirit (NK) and Frontier (F9) generated more daily traffic while Allegiant Air (G4) had the biggest decline. Southwest (WN), Delta (DL) and United (UA) also saw some growth. But Hawaiian (HA) and JetBlue (B6) observed a dip in daily traffic during this period.

Figure 5: Air Traffic by Dominant Marketing Airlines in April 2023 (Previous) vs. May 2023 (Current)

In May 2023, most top airports registered an increase in daily passenger traffic compared to the previous month. Notably, Atalanta (ATL) and Dallas (DFW) led the month-to-month growth with a 14.6% and 14.8% surge in daily traffic. Ft Lauderdale (FLL) and Phoenix (PHX) experienced some decrease from the previous month.

Figure 6: Air Traffic by Top Origin Airports in April 2023 (Previous) vs. May 2023 (Current)

Year Over Year Comparison

In a year-over-year comparison with May 2022, all prominent US airlines except Allegiant (G4) recorded positive growth. Notably, Frontier (F9), Spirit (NK) and United (UA) led year-over-year growth with 23.8%, 19.4% and 17.4%, respectively, thereby leading the growth trajectory among the major US airlines.

Figure 7: Air Traffic by Dominant Marketing Airlines in May 2023 (Current) vs. May 2022 (Previous)

Between May 2022 and May 2023, the top airports exhibited impressive growth, recording an increase above 15%, except Miami (MIA) and Ft Lauderdale (FLL). Particularly, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York (JFK) spearheaded the year-over-year growth, boasting substantial increases of 27.2% and 23.9% respectively.

Figure 8: Air Traffic by Top Origin Airport in May 2023 (Current) vs. May 2022 (Previous)

For more detailed information on traffic and fares by route and airline, please contact or request a demo of Fligence USOD. They will be able to provide you with customized information to meet your specific needs and requirements.

US Commercial Air Traffic and Fare Report: May 2023