Airlines Industry Profile

Report Page Length: 10-12
Last Quarterly Update: 2/22/2016
SIC Codes: 4512
NAICS Codes: 4811
Chapters Include:
Industry Overview Trends & Challenges Industry Forecast
Quarterly Industry Update Call Prep Questions Website & Media Links
Business Challenges Financial Information Glossary & Acronyms
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Excerpt from Airlines Industry Profile

Companies in this industry provide scheduled domestic and international passenger transportation, as well as mail and freight transportation. Major US companies include American Airlines, Delta, Southwest, and United Continental, as well as the air operations of express delivery companies such as FedEx and UPS; outside the US, leading companies include Air France-KLM, Deutsche Lufthansa, Japan Airlines, and Qantas (Australia).

Worldwide, the airline industry generates about $720 billion in revenue annually. The number of air travelers is expected to grow to about 3.9 billion in 2017, from about 3 billion in 2012, according to the International Air Transport Association. Top regions for passenger growth include the emerging economies of Asia/Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East.

The US airline industry includes about 500 companies with combined annual revenue of about $190 billion.


Demand depends highly on the health of the economy, which affects spending on business and leisure air travel. Because many costs are fixed, the profitability of individual companies is determined by efficient operations and on favorable fuel and labor costs. Large companies enjoy economies of scale in purchasing and the ability to provide more extensive services. Small airlines can compete by serving local or regional routes. The US industry is highly concentrated: the four largest companies account for more than 70 percent of industry revenue.


Major services include domestic passenger transportation (about 70 percent of industry revenue) and international ...

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