Travel Trends

Third Quarter 2019 U.S. Airline Financial Data

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Third Quarter 2019 U.S. Airline Financial Data

Infographic - Third Quarter 2019 U.S. Airline Financial Data

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:

Figure 1. Systemwide U.S. Scheduled Service Passenger Airlines Quarterly After Tax Net Profit, 3Q 2019 Billions of dollarsSource: 

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:

Figure 2. Domestic U.S. Scheduled Service Passenger Airlines Quarterly After Tax Net Profit, 3Q 2019 billions of dollarsSource: 

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:

Figure 3. International U.S. Scheduled Service Passenger Airlines Quarterly After Tax Net Profit, 3Q 2019 billions of dollarsSource: 

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



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