Air Travel Declines, Delta Air Wins in Traffic

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics reported on Wednesday that in October 2011, U.S. airlines had 61.2 million domestic and international passengers scheduled to fly. This number represents a 1.5 percent drop from the previous year but a 4.1 percent increase from 2009’s figures.

The numbers can be broken down further. Domestic passengers dropped 1.3 percent in October of last year while international travelers incurred a greater decline at 3 percent. On a positive note,the agency reported that the 83.6 percent domestic load factor was a record for October.

Some airline carriers fared better than others during this time period. Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) emerged as the leader carrying the greatest number of passengers. Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) grabbed the top spot for domestic passengers and American Airlines (AAMRQ), now bankrupt, led for international passengers. 

To contact the reporter on this story: Damien Hoffman at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at