Airlines Industry Profile

Report Page Length: 10-12
Last Quarterly Update: 9/5/2016
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, FedEx, Southwest, and United Continental; leading companies based outside the US include Air France-KLM, China Southern Air, Deutsche Lufthansa, Emirates Group, and International Airlines Group.

Worldwide, the airline industry generates about $760 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 Africa, Asia/Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East.

The US airline industry includes about 425 companies with combined annual revenue of about $180 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% of industry revenue.


Major services include domestic passenger transportation (about 70% of industry revenue) and international passenger transportation (20%); mail and freight transportation accounts for most ...

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