North American aviation industry by numbers - the latest trends and data

Routesonline analyses the North American aviation industry, taking a monthly look at the top routes served and revealing the airlines that are dominating the market. We also rank the top ten airports by available departure seat.

Routesonline analyses the North American aviation industry, taking a monthly look at the top routes served and revealing the airlines that are dominating the market. We also rank the top ten airports by available departure seat capacity.

October 2017 update - All data provided by OAG

Top North American airline routes

Los Angeles (LAX) - San Francisco (SFO) had the largest number of two-way seats during October 2017, although total year-on-year capacity dropped by 6 per cent. New York LaGuardia (LGA) - Chicago O'Hare (ORD) recorded the largest year-on-year rise in available two-way seat capacity, placing it second in the table of top routes, up from fourth 12 months ago.

According to the latest figures from Sabre, O&D demand rose by 3.7 percent in the first six months of the year, compared with the same period 12 months ago. The route is operated by four carriers: American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Spirit Airlines, which in October had a capacity share of 42.3 percent, 35.8 percent, 14.2 percent and 7.7 percent respectively. 

Top North American airlines

All airlines in the top ten increased year-on-year seat capacity during October 2017, with Florida-based ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines recording the largest percentage rise. Spirit's biggest routes during the month were Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (FLL) - New York LaGuardia (LGA), Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood (FLL) - Newark (EWR), Las Vegas McCarran (LAS) - Detroit Metropolitan (DTW) and Las Vegas McCarran (LAS) - Chicago O'Hare (ORD). 

Top North American airports

San Francisco added the largest number of available departure seats in October 2017, with an additional 186,640 compared with the same time a year ago. SFO operated routes to 130 destinations during the month, 79 of which were domestic. 


The full North American aviation industry data

Top North American routes by total available capacity (October 2017):

  Route Total two-way capacity (October 2017) Total two-way capacity (October 2016) Year-on-year change (%)
1 Los Angeles (LAX) - San Francisco (SFO) 433412 461169 -6.0%
2 New York LaGuardia (LGA) - Chicago O'Hare (ORD) 365568 327832 11.5%
3 Los Angeles (LAX) - New York J F Kennedy (JFK) 358102 338106 5.9%
4 New York J F Kennedy (JFK) - London Heathrow (LHR) 325394 335371 -3.0%
5 Toronto Lester B Pearson (YYZ) - Vancouver (YVR) 309636 300937 2.9%
6 Las Vegas McCarran (LAS) - Los Angeles (LAX) 288309 293255 -1.7%
7 Los Angeles (LAX) - Chicago O'Hare (ORD) 278945 286305 -2.6%
8 Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL) – Orlando (MCO) 278536 279549 -0.4%
9 Los Angeles (LAX) - Seattle-Tacoma (SEA) 271064 267746 1.2%
10 Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau (YUL) - Toronto Lester B Pearson (YYZ) 266433 271987 -2.0%

Top North American airlines by total available departure seats (October 2017):

Airline Total available departure seats (October 2017) Total available departure seats  (October 2016) Year-on-year change (%)
American Airlines (AA) 21117893 20586329 2.6%
Delta Air Lines (DL) 19156924 18740001 2.2%
Southwest Airlines (WN) 16886099 16294758 3.6%
United Airlines (UA) 15598482 15097944 3.3%
Air Canada (AC) 5095563 4839484 5.3%
JetBlue Airways Corporation (B6) 3967435 3670212 8.1%
Alaska Airlines (AS) 3701778 3518707 5.2%
Spirit Airlines (NK) 2518133 2159905 16.6%
Westjet (WS) 2447593 2343166 4.5%
Frontier Airlines (F9) 1756350 1595340 10.1%

Top North American airports by total available departure seats (October 2017):

Airport Total available departure seats (October 2017) Total available departure seats (October 2016) Year-on-year change (%)
Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson 5153807 5201176 -0.9%
Los Angeles 4257883 4129267 3.1%
Chicago O'Hare 4196405 4077565 2.9%
Dallas Dallas/Fort Worth  3354460 3251248 3.2%
New York J F Kennedy 3043138 3012014 1.0%
San Francisco 2991502 2804862 6.7%
Denver 2969474 2996275 -0.9%
Las Vegas McCarran 2479600 2447109 1.3%
Toronto Lester B Pearson 2358281 2250089 4.8%
Charlotte 2337846 2252017 3.8%

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