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Monday, July 14, 2003

Passenger Traffic Up 19%, RPMs Up 27% In Latest RAA Data

Regional airline passenger traffic increased by nearly 19 percent from 2001 to 2002, while revenue passenger miles (RPMs) were up by more than 27 percent over the same period, according to statistics the Regional Airline Association (RAA) provided exclusively to C/R News. RAA President Deborah McElroy said the numbers were "very impressive."

"It really shows you how domestic air travel has changed since 9/11," McElroy told C/R News. One out of every seven domestic passengers flew a regional airline in 2002, compared to one in about 10 just five years ago, she said. In 2002, regional carriers transported 15 percent of all domestic air passengers, compared to about 9.5 percent of all passengers five years ago. The growth trend is expected to continue, with 700 firm orders for regional jets pending, and options for about 1,500 more. "That bodes well for the industry ... that's significant growth in our market share," McElroy said.

While passenger traffic is down overall, the regionals have boosted their market share. "The full pie may be smaller, but [the regionals'] share of that pie is larger," McElroy said. RAA contracts with AvStat Associates to provide its annual statistics, which cover all 91 regional carriers. In addition to traffic statistics, RAA also ranks the top regional aircraft and the top 50 regional airlines (see next week's C/R News).

RAA released the statistics to C/R News ahead of the normal release date, which usually coincides with the publication of its annual report. RAA's annual report is delayed this year due to problems obtaining Department of Transportation statistical data. RAA expects to release its annual report in August.

U.S. Regional Airline Industry Traffic (2002 Calendar Year)
Passenger Operations
1997
1998
1999
2000
2001
2002
% Change '01 to '02
Carriers Operating
104
97
97
94
91
91
0
Passengers Enplaned (millions)
66.3
71.1
78.1
84.6
82.8
98.4
18.8
Average Passengers Enplaned per Carrier
637,533
733,028
804,699
830,381
910,173
1,080,874
18.8
Revenue Passenger Miles (billions)
15.3
17.42
20.81
25.27
25.74
32.77
27.3
Average RPMs per Carrier (millions)
147.09
179.64
214.49
268.83
282.83
360.11
27.3
Available Seat Miles (billions)
27.79
30.38
35.76
42.55
44.16
52.59
19.1
Average Load Factor (percent)
55.04
57.36
58.18
59.39
58.28
62.31
4 pts.
Departures Completed (millions)
4.38
4.33
4.38
4.46
4.2
4.41
5.1
Airports Served (North America)
766
773
737
729
726
707
-2.6
Average Passenger Trip Length (miles)
231
245
267
299
311
333
7.2
Aircraft Operated
2,104
2,150
2,187
2,271
2,323
2,385
2.7
Average Seating Capacity (seats per aircraft)
25.9
27.7
29.8
31.7
33.5
35.1
4.8
Fleet Flying Hours (thousands)
4,695
4,631
5,058
5,362
5,161
5,248
1.7
Average Annual Utilization (hours per aircraft)
2,231
2,154
2,313
2,368
2,222
2,201
-1
Note: Data includes carriers that may have operated only part of calendar year 2002. Courtesy: AvStat Associates for the Regional Airline Association. Reprinted with permission.

Top U.S. Regional Aircraft 2002 (By Total Seats)
Rank
Manufacturer
Model
Total Aircraft in Airline Service1
Total Seats
Share of Total Fleet Seats
2002 Fleet Block Hours
1
Bombardier RJ100/200
465
23,190
27.7%
1,354,048
2
Embraer ERJ140/145
361
17,666
21.1%
833,438
3
Saab 340
169
5,734
6.8%
463,320
4
Bombardier Dash 8-100/200
134
4,958
5.9%
433,978
5
Aerospatiale ATR72
62
4,014
4.8%
123,806
6
BAe/Avro 146/RJ85
51
3,883
4.6%
137,570
7
Embraer Brasilia
109
3,270
3.9%
305,628
8
Bombardier RJ700
47
3,254
3.9%
59,913
9
Raytheon 1900
154
2,926
3.5%
358,446
10
Embraer ERJ135
71
2,627
3.1%
195,802

Total (top aircraft) 2
1,623 (68.1%)
71,522
85.3%
4,265,949 (81.3%)

Total (all others in service)
762 (31.9%)
12,298
14.7%
982,339 (18.7%)

Industry Total
2,385 (100%)
83,820
100%
5,248,288 (100%)
Notes: 1/ Aircraft in service as of 1/1/03; and 2/ Aircraft accounting for 2% or more of 2002 passenger activity. Courtesy: AvStat Associates for the Regional Airline Association. Reprinted with permission.
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