Welcome to a new feature on The Networker - Lessons - teaching you about the essentials of airline route networking.
Let's start with the Load Factor.
I'm sure that you have heard of the term load factor at some point. What does load factor mean ?
The load factor is the actual number of seats utilized on a single flight. This could be calculated by dividing the number of revenue passengers carried on a flight by the number of seats that were available on the flight.
For example, if a flight was flown on an aircraft with 100 seats and only 75 passengers flew on that flight, the flight's load factor is 75%.
On a more wider scale, the load factor could be referred to as the proportion of airline capacity output that is actually consumed. On this scale, the load factor could be calculated by dividing the Revenue Passenger Miles (1) by the Available Seat Miles (2).
(1) - The actual number of passenger miles sold and flown.
(2) - The available number of seat miles, whether passengers fly them or not.
The load factor is always expressed as a percentage.
The load factor is often used to describe an airline's performance, however it is not one of the most accurate. An airline may sell its tickets at deep discounts and fill its seats. However the actual revenue may be low. Another airline on the same route can sell its tickets at a higher price and have a lower load factor, but still earn a higher revenue than the first airline.
Nevertheless, the load factor remains one of the industry's most noticeable benchmarks and will continue to be so.
Photo by randomecho