ATP Grads at Airlines

US Airline Passenger Traffic Still Climbing as Airline Industry Begins to Soar

Published Dec 22, 2010 on Pilot Jobs

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The airline industry in the United States carried 57.3 million passengers in September, the US government said Thursday. That is the most drastic increase in traffic in three years, and is up over 5 percent from last year’s figures.


Delta Air Lines led the way, carrying more passengers than any other U.S. airline. Southwest Airlines led low cost carriers by carrying the most passengers who just traveled domestically.

The airline industry is doing very well as a whole. The $7.1 billion in operating profits that U.S. airlines posted over the first nine months of 2010 is the most since 1999, according to a recent CNN report.

This is sparking expansion in the airlines industry as a whole with airlines announcing new routes and destinations as well as entry into new airline markets. Airlines are announcing new aircraft purchases to facilitate the increased traffic. Several airlines have announced plans to hire new pilots for these aircraft.

On Wednesday, Southwest Airlines chairman and CEO Gary Kelly said that Southwest will change an existing order with Boeing Co. and get 20 new 737-800 jets beginning in March 2012 in response to increased passenger loads.

Kelly also said that the 2012 aircraft would arrive at Southwest "ETOPS enabled," meaning that they could fly long distances over the ocean to new destinations such as Hawaii if Southwest decided to expand into that market as rumored.

The US Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics said U.S. airlines carried 4.3 percent more domestic passengers in September and 9.4 percent more international passengers than in September 2009. Planes were fuller than in any other September on record.

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