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Airline Financial Data

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Third Quarter 2019 U.S. Airline Financial Data

Release Number: 
53-19
Date: Friday, December 6, 2019

 

 

U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reported a third-quarter 2019 after-tax net profit of $4.6 billion, the 26th consecutive quarterly after-tax profit, and a pre-tax operating profit of $6.4 billion, the 34th consecutive quarterly pre-tax profit.

U.S. airline financial reports are filed quarterly with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). See the tables that accompany this release on the BTS website for additional third-quarter 2019 (Tables 1-6) financial results.

Results for All 21 Scheduled U.S. Passenger Airlines:

Billions of dollars
3Q2018$3.7
4Q2018$2.9
1Q2019$2.4
2Q2019$4.8
3Q2019$4.6
Source: 

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

After-tax net profit (net income)

  • $4.6 billion in 3Q 2019
  • Down 4.9% from $4.8 billion in 2Q 2019
  • Up 21.5% from $3.8 billion in 3Q 2018

Pre-tax operating profit

  • $6.4 billion in 3Q 2019
  • Down 7.2% from $6.9 billion in 2Q 2019
  • Up 21.9% from $5.3 billion in 3Q 2018
  • Total 3Q 2019 operating expenses: $44.9 billion
    • Fuel costs accounted for $8.5 billion, 18.9% of total operating expenses
    • Labor costs accounted for $15.3 billion, 34.2% of total operating expenses

Fees are included for calculations of net income, operating revenue and operating profit or loss.

Domestic operations, includes 21 U.S. airlines:

billions of dollars
3Q2018$2.4
4Q2018$2.4
1Q2019$1.5
2Q2019$3.6
3Q2019$3.2
Source: 

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

After-tax domestic net profit (net income)

  • $3.2 billion in 3Q 2019
  • Down 8.7% from $3.6 billion in 2Q 2019
  • Up 37.9% from $2.4 billion in 3Q 2018

Pre-tax domestic operating profit

  • $4.7 billion in 3Q 2019
  • Down 10.6% from $5.3 billion in 2Q 2019
  • Up 33.5% from $3.5 billion in 3Q 2018
  • Total 3Q 2019 domestic operating revenue: $38.2 billion
    • $27.3 billion from fares, 71.4% of total third-quarter domestic operating revenue
    • $1.2 billion in baggage fees, 3.2% of total domestic operating revenue
    • $524 million from reservation change fees, 1.4% of total domestic operating revenue
  • Total 3Q 2019 domestic operating expenses: $33.5 billion
    • Fuel costs accounted for $5.7 billion, 17.1% of total domestic operating expenses
    • Labor costs accounted for $11.2 billion, 33.3% of total domestic operating expenses

International operations, includes 19 U.S. airlines:

billions of dollars
3Q2018$1.4
4Q2018$0.5
1Q2019$0.8
2Q2019$1.2
3Q2019$1.3
Source: 

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

After-tax international net profit (net income)

  • $1.3 billion in 3Q 2019
  • Up 6.3% from $1.2 billion in 2Q 2019
  • Down 6.2% from $1.4 billion in 3Q 2018

Pre-tax international operating profit

  • $1.7 billion in 3Q 2019
  • Up 3.5% from $1.6 billion in 2Q 2019
  • Down 1.8% from $1.7 billion in 3Q 2018
  • Total 3Q 2019 international operating revenue: $13.1 billion
    • $11.0 billion from fares, 83.9% of third-quarter international operating revenue
    • $323 million in baggage fees, 2.5% of international operating revenue
    • $223 million from reservation change fees, 1.7% of international operating revenue
  • Total 3Q 2019 international operating expenses: $11.4 billion
    • Fuel costs accounted for $2.8 billion, 24.5% of international operating expenses
    • Labor costs accounted for $4.2 billion, 36.6% of international operating expenses

3rd Quarter Margins
 

Net margin is the net income or loss as a percentage of operating revenue. Operating margin is the operating profit or loss as a percentage of operating revenue.

Systemwide:

Net income margin:

  • 8.9% in 3Q 2019
  • Up from 7.6% in 3Q 2018

Operating margin:

  • 12.5% in 3Q 2019
  • Up from 10.7% in 3Q 2018

Domestic

Net income margin:

  • 8.5% in 3Q 2019
  • Up from 6.5% in 3Q 2018

Operating margin:

  • 12.3% in 3Q 2019
  • Up from 9.7% in 3Q 2018

International

Net income margin:

  • 9.9% in 3Q 2019
  • Down from 10.7% in 3Q 2018

Operating margin:

  • 13.0% in 3Q 2019
  • Down from 13.3% in 3Q 2018

Reporting notes

Additional data: BTS website, See tables for operating profit/loss, operating revenue and fuel cost and consumption. See the BTS financial databases for more detailed data including numbers for individual airlines.

Filing requirement: By regulation, for the quarter ending September 30, airlines that operate at least one aircraft that is designed/certified for more than 60 seats or the capacity to carry a payload of passengers and cargo weighing more than 18,000 pounds must report financial data to BTS by Nov. 10. The airline filings are subject to a process of quality assurance and data validations before release to the public.

Data updates: 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 annual and fourth-quarter 2019 data on May 4.

Updated: Friday, December 6, 2019