Skift Take

The American Airlines-US Airways combination would challenge United Airlines as the top airline serving U.S. international non-stop markets. There's a lot of money in that.

U.S. airlines flew 39.1 million international passengers from January through May 2013, and that was a 2% increase, but foreign carriers gained market share as their international passenger traffic to and from the U.S. in the same period climbed 5% to 33.6 million.

What does that mean? U.S. airlines still dominated, with a 54% market share of international passengers to and from the U.S. in the first five months of 2013, but foreign carriers are catching up, with 46%.

It isn’t hard to imagine the day when foreign airlines with take over in market share leadership.

The latest numbers on international passenger traffic come from the U.S. Office of Travel and Tourism Industries. 

Following are some tables from the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries on airports and airline trends for the first five months of 2013:

Top 10 U.S. Airports Passenger Traffic to/From Foreign Airports


Passengers (millions) Percent Change Jan. to May, 2013, y-o-y
1. New York (JFK) 9.912 4%
2. Miami (MIA) 8.211 3%
3. Los Angeles (LAX) 6.863 2%
4. Newark (EWR) 4.601 0%
5. Chicago (ORD) 4.137 1%
6. Atlanta (ATL) 4.028 3%
7. San Francisco (SFO) 3.665 2%
8. Houston (IAH) 3.62 2%
9. Washington Dulles (IAD) 2.594 4%
10. Dallas-Ft Worth (DFW) 2.53 10%

DFW’s 10% gain in passenger traffic to and from foreign airports is particularly noteworthy.

Top 10 Airlines Serving U.S. International Non-Stop Markets:

Passengers (millions) Percent Change Jan. to May, 2013, y-o-y
1. United Airlines 11.888 2%
2. American Airlines 8.869 0%
3. Delta Air Lines 8.025 4%
4. US Airways 3.36 2%
5. Air Canada 2.915 3%
6. British Airways 2.653 3%
7. Lufthansa 2.029 5%
8. WestJet 1.851 10%
9. JetBlue 1.83 10%
10. Korean Air Lines 1.223 4%

If you think of JetBlue as merely a U.S. domestic carrier, then you are obviously be wrong given its #9 status on the above list, and its 10% growth in passenger to U.S. international markets during the first five months of 2013 compared to the year-earlier period.


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