Travel Trends

First Quarter 2019 U.S. Airline Financial Data

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First Quarter 2019 U.S. Airline Financial Data


U.S. scheduled passenger airlines reported a first-quarter 2019 after-tax net profit of $2.1 billion, the 24th consecutive annual after tax profit, and a pre-tax operating profit of $3.3 billion, the 32nd 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 first-quarter 2019 (Tables 1-6) financial results.

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

Figure 1. Systemwide U.S. Scheduled Service Passenger Airlines Quarterly After Tax Net Profit, 1Q 2019 billions of dollars ($)

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

After-tax net profit (net income)

  • $2.1 billion in 1Q 2019
  • down from $2.9 billion in 4Q 2018
  • up from $1.7 billion in 1Q 2018

Pre-tax operating profit

  • $3.0 billion in 1Q 2019
  • down from $3.9 billion in 4Q 2018
  • up from $2.6 billion in 1Q 2018
  • Total 1Q 2019 operating revenue: $44.4 billion
    • $32.5 billion from fares, 73.3% of total first-quarter operating revenue
    • $1.3 billion in baggage fees, 2.9% of total operating revenue
    • $662.1 million from reservation change fees, 1.5% of total operating revenue
  • Total 1Q 2019 operating expenses: $41.4 billion
    • Fuel costs accounted for $7.5 billion, 18.3% of total operating expenses
    • Labor costs accounted for $14.2 billion, 34.6% 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:

Figure 2. Domestic U.S. Scheduled Service Passenger Airlines Quarterly After Tax Net Profit,1Q 2019 billions of dollars ($)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)

  • $1.5 billion in 1Q 2019
  • down from $2.4 billion in 4Q 2018
  • up from $1.2 billion in 1Q 2018

Pre-tax domestic operating profit

  • $2.2 billion in 1Q 2019
  • down from $3.2 billion in 4Q 2018
  • up from $2.0 billion in 1Q 2018
  • Total 1Q 2019 domestic operating revenue: $33.7 billion
    • $23.8 billion from fares, 70.7% of total first-quarter domestic operating revenue
    • $957.4 million in baggage fees, 2.8% of total domestic operating revenue
    • $464.8 million from reservation change fees, 1.4% of total domestic operating revenue
  • Total 1Q 2019 domestic operating expenses: $31.5 billion
    • Fuel costs accounted for $5.2 billion, 16.5% of total domestic operating expenses
    • Labor costs accounted for $10.5 billion, 33.5% of total domestic operating expenses

International operations, includes 18 U.S. airlines:

Figure 3. International U.S. Scheduled Service Passenger Airlines Quarterly After Tax Net Profit, 1Q 2019 billions of dollars ($)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)

  • $546 million in 1Q 2019
  • up from $546 million in 4Q 2018
  • up from $425 million in 1Q 2018

Pre-tax international operating profit

  • $747 million in 1Q 2018
  • up from $703 million in 4Q 2018
  • up from $611 million in 1Q 2018
  • Total 1Q 2019 international operating revenue: $10.7 billion
    • $8.7 billion from fares, 81.6% of first-quarter international operating revenue
    • $334 million in baggage fees, 3.1% of international operating revenue
    • $197 million from reservation change fees, 1.8% of international operating revenue
  • Total 1Q 2019 international operating expenses: $10.0 billion,
    • Fuel costs accounted for $2.3 billion, 24.3% of international operating expenses
    • Labor costs accounted for $3.7 billion, 38.1% of international operating expenses

1st 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:

  • 4.7% in 1Q2019
  • up from 3.9% in 1Q 2018

Operating margin:

  • 6.6% in 1Q2019
  • up from 6.1% in 1Q 2018

DomesticNet income margin:

  • 4.6% in 1Q2019
  • up from 3.9% in 1Q 2018

Operating margin:

  • 6.5% in 1Q2019
  • up from 6.3% in 1Q 2018

InternationalNet income margin:

  • 5.1% in 1Q2019
  • up from 4.0% in 1Q 2018

Operating margin:

  • 7.0% in 1Q2019
  • up from 5.8% in 1Q 2018



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