Airline Industry

A guide to resources on the airline industry covering industry trends, news, statistics, and companies.

What's in This Guide

The Industry - Industry surveys supply background information on how the industry operates, identify industry trends, and often list the top companies in the sector. Market research offers data on market share, distribution channels, brands and consumer demographics.

The Numbers - Statistics and reports on industry performance are collected by many trade associations, government agencies and private research firms.

The Competition - Identify the key players in the industry. Find company profiles, financial data and analysis.

The Environment - Read about issues related to the economic, regulatory, social, technological and global conditions of the industry.

News - Business magazines, newspapers and trade journals are key sources for identifying industry trends and keeping up-to-date on the latest industry happenings.

Getting Started with Airline Industry Research

For industry surveys, forecasts and data use the websites of the Airlines for America and the IATA, The International Air Transport Association.

The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics collects airline financial statistics, air travel statistics and general aviation statistics.

Industry Metrics

Passenger Traffic - measured by Revenue passengers carried, RPM and passenger load factor

Load factor. Measures the percentage of available capacity that is taken up by revenue-paying passenger traffic. Compiled monthly by the ATA

Revenue Passengers Carried. Enplanements or the actual number of passengers carried.

Revenue passenger-miles (RPMs). Measures airline traffic by multiplying the total number of passengers carried by the number of miles flown.

Revenue Yield - measured by revenues per ASM or RPM

Available seat-miles (ASMs). Measures capacity by taking the total number of seats in the active fleet, multiplied by the number of miles flown.

Revenue passenger-miles (RPMs). Measures airline traffic by multiplying the total number of passengers carried by the number of miles flown. Industrywide RPM numbers are available monthly from the ATA.

Costs - examine labor, fuel, maintenance and aircraft financing

Cost per Available Seat Mile (CASM). Calculated by dividing the airline’s operating expenses by the total number of available seat miles produced.

Fuel Expenditures/Jet Fuel Prices. Including average fuel price per gallon, fuel consumed and fuel expenses. The IATA monitors world jet fuel prices.

These and other key airline performance measures are defined in the Glossary from the Airline Data Project.

Business Librarian

Louise Klusek's picture
Louise Klusek
Newman Library
Baruch College
151 E. 25th Street
New York, NY 10010