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Airlines & Air Transportation – Industry Research, Analysis, Statistics, and Forecasts

SIC 45  |  NAICS 481

This free online guide to industry research and analysis provides sources for industry statistics, trends, and forecasts, financial ratios, salary surveys, and more.

See the following sections listed below to view available resources by category:

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

Industry Analysis, Statistics, Trends, and Forecasts

Industry Research Reports
International Airlines  (view report)
Domestic Airlines  (view report)
Charter Flights  (view report)
Comprehensive industry 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. Topics addressed in the reports include:
Sample report and selected industry statistics including market size, five-year average growth rate, number of businesses, and total employment are available free online.

IATA | Redactive Media Group
Airlines. Magazine

Bimonthly publication provides news and information for the global airline industry, with online article categories and topics including news, analysis, commentary, airports, air traffic management, cargo, CEO interviews, economics, environment, passenger experience, regulations and taxation, security, safety, and technology. Selected articles from each issue of the magazine can be viewed free online.

Airlines for America
A4A Review and Outlook

Industry review and outlook presentation compiles statistical data from a wide range of sources, with topics covered in recent editions of this presentation including trends in traffic, fares, operations, and financial performance, initiatives to improve carrier profitability, affordability, competition, and access to air travel for U.S. consumers, reinvestment in employees and products, and customer satisfaction.

Federal Aviation Administration
FAA Aerospace Forecast

Annual report includes a review of the U.S. aviation industry over the past year and forecasts aviation traffic and activity over the next twenty years for both the domestic and international markets, with air transportation segments covered in the forecast including U.S. mainline air carriers, U.S. regional air carriers, and general aviation and air taxi aircraft. Report can be downloaded and viewed free online.

Regional Airlines Association
RAA Annual Reports

Annual publication provides an overview of the regional airline industry, with statistical data provided including airports with regional service, regional certificated carriers, departures completed, average daily departures, average seating capacity, passengers enplaned, average trip length, average load factor, revenue passenger miles, and available seat miles. Current edition can be viewed free online.

International Air Transport Association
Publications available from this trade association include:

Airlines Financial Monitor
Monthly financial report provides information on airline share prices, operating margins, net after-tax profits, and cash flows by global region, global oil and jet fuel prices, passenger yields and premium-class revenues, passenger and cargo volumes, passenger and cargo capacity, changes in operating fleet size, and passenger and cargo load factors. Current and prior issues can be viewed free online.

Airline Business Confidence Survey
Quarterly survey of airline executives provides insights on business performance for the most recent quarter and expected changes over the next twelve months, with key areas addressed by the survey including profitability outlook, passenger and cargo traffic volume demand, employment levels, input costs, and passenger and cargo yields. Current and prior quarterly surveys are available free online.

Airline Industry Economic Performance
Semi-annual report takes a broad look at how the airlines are adding value for consumers, the wider economy, governments, and their investors, with economic sectors addressed in the report including consumers, wider economy, government, capital providers, aircraft, fuel, employment, infrastructure, and global regions. Current and prior reports, presentations, and data tables are available free online.

BizMiner Market Analysis Reports
Air Transportation  Search for "481" to see available reports

Market analysis reports provide industry statistics for a user-defined area on a national, state, county, metro area, or zip code level, with data provided including number of companies, market volume and sales trends, average company sales, sales per employee, staffing and employment trends, average employee wage, and business start up activity and failure rates. Sample report can be viewed online.

More industry research reports »

Financial Statements and Financial Ratios

BizMiner Industry Financial Ratios
Air Transportation  Search for "481" to see available reports
Five-year financial statement analysis reports provide income statements, balance sheets, and key industry financial ratios for companies of all sizes, with financial data available by sales size range on a national, state, and metropolitan area level including:
Sample financial statement and ratio analysis report is available free online.

Industry Research Reports
International and Domestic Airlines / Charter Flights
(see links for individual reports)  (sample spreadsheet)

Key statistics section of these reports provides detailed income statements and balance sheets on a common-size basis and over twenty-five industry financial ratios, with financial ratios provided for the each of the four most recent calendar years and on a historical average basis for 3-year, 5-year, and 10-year time periods. Sample spreadsheet with breakdowns by asset size can be viewed free online.

More financial benchmarking data »

Compensation and Salary Surveys

Professional Pilot Magazine
Pro Pilot Salary Study

Annual study provides high, low, and average salary amounts for aviation department managers and flight crew members (e.g., chief pilot, captain, and first officer/copilot) by aircraft type (e.g., corporate jet, turboprop, and helicopter; charter jet, turboprop, and helicopter; regional jet and turboprop; major U.S. airline jet; other helicopters) and model. Salary data can be viewed free online in the June issue.

National Business Aviation Association
Compensation Survey

Annual compensation survey provides base salary and total compensation data for flight department employees, with job positions covered in the survey including chief pilot, senior captain, captain, first officer/copilot, aviation department manager, flight coordinator/scheduler, licensed dispatcher, senior flight attendant, and flight attendant. Survey help section with job descriptions is available free online.

More compensation surveys »

BV Guides and Databases

Private Company Sales Transaction Databases
Free "Visitor Search" allows users to search the DealStats, BIZCOMPS, and FactSet/BVR databases for private company sales transaction data by SIC or NAICS Code using the following codes:
  SIC Code 45 - Air Transportation
  NAICS Code 481 - Air Transportation
Types of establishments included in these codes
International airlines - establishments operating scheduled air transportation services for passengers and/or cargoes on an international basis that often have extensive networks and participate in global airline alliances, such as Star Alliance, SkyTeam, or Oneworld.
Domestic airlines - establishments that operate scheduled air transportation services for passengers and/or cargoes within a specific country and operate large aircraft for busy routes between major cities, as well as smaller planes for regional or local locations.
Regional airlines - establishments primarily operating flights within a specific region of a country that typically serve smaller communities not served by national airlines due to lower passenger volume or the need for smaller airplanes due to airport constraints.
Scheduled commuter air carriers - establishments operating scheduled air transportation services for passengers in aircraft with a seating capacity of 9 to 30 seats that focus on short-haul flights within a specific region and cater to commuter transportation needs.
Scheduled air freight carriers - establishments that are primarily focused on providing air transportation of cargo on a regularly scheduled basis over fixed routes according to a predetermined timetable, which allows customers to plan their shipments in advance.
Charter air passenger services - establishments providing customized flights tailored to specific requests or itineraries, such as business trips, leisure travel, or special events, that offer a higher level of privacy and convenience compared to commercial airlines.
Charter air freight services - establishments offering custom transportation solutions for those needing to transport goods quickly, especially to destinations not well-served by scheduled services, or for transporting cargo that has specific handling requirements.
Air taxi services - establishments that provide on-demand, short-haul, and point-to-point flights for individuals or small groups using small aircraft, such as light jets, turboprops, and helicopters, that can land at smaller, less congested airfields or other locations.
Sample reports with detailed sales transaction data and valuation multiples are available free online.

More valuation data »

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