The number of passengers carried by foreign and domestic airlines operating in the United States rose 3.4% to 965 million passengers for domestic and international flights in 2017, from 933.1 million in 2016, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. This was more than the previous record set in 2016.
The rise was a result of a 3% increase in the number of passengers on domestic flights (741.6 million) and a 4.8% increase in passengers on flights to and from the United States (223.4 million), compared to the number of passengers on 2016 flights. U.S. airlines carried 3% more passengers on domestic flights and 3.5% more passengers on international flights, from 2016. Foreign airlines carried 6.1% more passengers to and from the United States, compared to 2016. The number of passengers on flights to and from the United States exceeded the previous high set in 2016.
The number of total passengers for Southwest Airlines rose 3.9% to 157.677 million, from 2016 and was more than any other U.S. airline, according to BTS. The number of passengers American Airlines carried to and from the United States rose 3% to 28.392 million and was more than any other U.S. or foreign carrier. The number of passengers British Airways carried to and from the United States fell 1.2% to 7.073 million and was more than any other foreign airline.
Total passengers for Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International fell 0.5% to 50.223 million and was more than any other U.S. airport. The number of passengers boarding international flights at New York John F. Kennedy rose 2.5% to 16.032 million and was more than any other U.S. airport.
Revenue passenger-miles, which measures demand, and available seat-miles, which represents capacity, both increased by 4.4%. As a result, load factor, which measures the use of capacity, was unchanged. Demand on international flights increased 5.2%, and capacity rose 5.1%. Load factor on international flights increased 0.1 percentage points to 80.6.