A Better Flight Plan

Industry Insights

U.S. Airlines: Going Above and Beyond to Deliver Passengers and Packages Safely and Efficiently This Holiday Season

The U.S. airline industry is supporting strong demand, record post-pandemic freight volume and unprecedented employment growth. The industry has made significant improvement in both reducing cancellations and increasing on-time arrivals – all while working day and night to ensure a smooth holiday travel season.

The airline industry is highly competitive and provides a range of options for consumers, giving them enormous choice, which is transparently provided on carrier websites. Learn more about how U.S. airlines are going above and beyond to improve the travel experience and deliver results for consumers, employees, and passengers alike.

Fast Facts:

Increasing reliability

  • In September and October, airlines posted a 99.3 percent completion factor and an 83 percent on-time arrival rate (excluding the impacts of Hurricane Ian)
  • Carriers have been proactively adjusting their schedules and hiring aggressively to improve operational reliability
  • U.S. airlines have been coordinating with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to address a range of shared operational challenges from extreme inclement weather to staffing across the system, including at the carriers and at federal air traffic control facilities

Building capacity to meet holiday demand

  • As of August 2022, an all-time high of 773k individuals were employed by U.S. passenger airlines and all-cargo carriers
  • U.S. passenger airline job growth is outpacing overall U.S. job growth
  • As of June 1, 2022, A4A passenger carriers were staffed with 10 percent more pilots per block hour than they were in June 2019
  • Airlines have launched aggressive hiring campaigns to secure a pipeline of new employees – establishing new pilot training academies, supporting programs to address financial hurdles, and enhancing recruitment initiatives

Operating amidst record high inflation rates

  • Fuel and labor are the top two biggest costs for airlines, accounting for 57 percent of operating costs
  • Airlines are dealing with record high fuel costs and costs that have been elevated over a sustained period of time. Spot prices are up 86 percent from 2019
  • Airlines have spent almost $42 billion on jet fuel in 2022 – a 125 percent increase from 2021
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