Weak revenues continue to plague US carriers

Washington DC
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Passenger revenue continues to falter for US operators, tumbling 21% in July versus the same period last year as the weak economy stunts demand for air service.

The latest data from the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) show the ninth consecutive month in which passenger sales spiralled downward from the previous year. ATA's estimates are based on a sample group of member carriers.

The number of passengers travelling on US carriers fell 4% year-over-year in July even as there were double-digit declines in fare prices. The average price to fly one mile fell 18% from the year-prior.

ATA also reported falling revenues beyond the US mainland to the transatlantic, transpacific and Latin markets.

"Clearly, with the difficult economic environment, demand for air travel remains weak," ATA President and CEO James May says in a statement.

In addition to soft passenger demand, US airlines in June experienced a 15% drop year-over-year in cargo traffic --11% domestic and 18% international. Cargo data is based on reports from roughly 15 operators including all-cargo carriers and passenger airlines.

June 2009 also marked the 11th consecutive month of declining cargo activity.