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Airlines and Air Transportation

SIC 4500 | NAICS 481000

The following guide to industry information, research, and analysis provides sources for industry trends and statistics, market research and analysis, financial ratios and salary surveys, and more.

For guides to other industries, see our index of over 400 industries.

Industry Analysis, Trends, Statistics, and Forecasts

International Airlines  (view report)
Domestic Airlines  (view report)

Comprehensive market research reports provide in-depth industry analysis and five-year forecasts, with special focus on the underlying structure and external forces and relationships that affect industries and their performance. Report contents include:

  • Market size and characteristics
  • Key statistics and ratios
  • Current performance
  • Competitive landscape
  • Major firms and market share
  • Key risk and success factors
  • Five-year growth forecast

Federal Aviation Administration
FAA Aerospace Forecast
Annual forecast provides a review of the most recent year and forecasts aviation traffic and activity over the next twenty years for the domestic and international markets, with air transportation segments covered in the report including commercial passenger carriers, commercial cargo carriers, commercial aircraft fleet, general aviation, and FAA operations. Current and prior forecast reports can be downloaded and viewed free online.

Airlines / Charter & Other Nonscheduled Air Transportation Services

First Research profiles cover key aspects of an industry's size, scope, and operations and include a five-year growth forecast. Profile contents include:

  • Industry overview
  • Recent developments
  • Critical issues and challenges
  • Business trends and opportunities
  • Executive insights
  • Financial benchmarking data
  • Five-year growth forecast

Regional Airlines Association
Annual Report
Annual report provides a statistical overview of the regional airlines industry, with data provided in the report including average passenger trip length, average load factor, revenue passenger miles, total passengers, regional airlines share of airline service, airports with regional service, regional airline employment by carrier, and corporate groupings of top fifty regional airlines. Full report can be downloaded and viewed free online.

International Air Transport Association
Information resources available from this trade association include:

Airlines Financial Monitor
Monthly review of airline industry performance on a global and regional basis includes information on global airline share prices, operating profits and net after-tax profits by global region, crude oil and jet fuel prices, passenger yields, passenger and freight volumes, passenger and freight capacity, airline fleet development, and passenger and freight load factors. Current and prior reports can be downloaded and viewed online.

Airline Business Confidence Survey
Quarterly survey of airline business confidence provides a prospective view of industry prospects based on actual performance for the quarter and expected performance for the next twelve months, with topics covered in the survey report including profitability outlook, passenger and freight demand growth, input costs, yield environment, and employment trends. Current and prior surveys can be downloaded and viewed online.

Airline Industry Economic Performance
Semi-annual report provides a multi-year comparative analysis of the industry's economic performance from the standpoint of consumers, the economy as a whole, and its investors, with various segments addressed in the report including consumers, wider economy, government, capital providers, aircraft, fuel, employment, infrastructure, and regional performance. Current and prior reports can be downloaded and viewed online.


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Financial Statements and Financial Ratios

Industry Financial Ratios
Air Transportation  Search for "481" to see reports for specific transportation services

Five-year financial statement analysis includes income statements, balance sheets, and key financial ratios, with data available by sales size range on a national, state, and metro area level.

  • Income and expense detail in dollars and percentages
  • Balance sheets in dollars and percentages
  • Cash flow analysis
  • Liquidity and working capital ratios
  • Profitability and return on investment ratios
  • Asset turnover and efficiency ratios
  • Capital structure and debt service ratios

RMA Annual Statement Studies
Air Transportation  Search for "481111", "481211", and "481219"
Annual financial statement analysis includes common-size income statements and balance sheets and key financial ratios for companies in this service sector. Print edition includes five years of historical data, with the most recent year's data broken down by sales and assets size range. Online reports also include a cash flow analysis and offer the option for additional breakdowns by region. Sample report can be viewed free online.

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Compensation and Salary Surveys

Professional Pilot Magazine
Pro Pilot Salary Study

Annual pilot salary survey provides compensation data for aviation department managers and flight crew personnel (e.g., chief pilot, captain, and first officer/copilot) by type of aircraft (e.g., corporate jet, turboprop, and helicopter; charter jet, turboprop, and helicopter; regional jet and turboprop; and major U.S. airline jet). Annual survey is published in the June issue of the magazine.

National Business Aviation Association
Compensation Survey
Annual compensation survey provides base salary and total compensation data for aviation department, flight crew, maintenance, scheduling, dispatch, and line service personnel on a national, regional, and metro area basis, with statistical measures for total compensation data including average, median, and upper/lower quartiles and deciles. Complete listing of all job positions included in the survey can be viewed free online.

ERI Economic Research Institute
Air Transportation Salary Survey
Annual salary survey provides compensation data from ERI Assessor®, government, and survey participant databases for executive, salaried, and hourly personnel employed by commercial airlines, air couriers, and express delivery services, with survey results available on a national and regional level. Complete listing of job positions included in the survey and sample pages for selected job positions are accessible online.

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Business Valuation Resources

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