Southwest may unseat American as biggest airline

21 August, 2007:

Going by the current passenger traffic figures, Southwest Airlines may replace American Airlines as the world's biggest airline, in 2007.

Southwest Airlines, the domestic-only discount carrier, has already eclipsed American Airlines’ combined domestic and international traffic during the first five months of 2007. A report said that Southwest had carried as many as 40.3 million passengers on domestic routes between January and May 2007, which is a clear increase of 4.2 per cent from last year. On the other hand, American Airlines carried 40 million passengers during the January-May 2007 period, down 1.8 percent from last year's levels.
American Airlines' international traffic for that five-month period was 8.7 million, up 0.3 percent in the first five months; its domestic traffic of 31.3 million was down 2.4 percent.

According to 2006 figures, Southwest finished at the No. 2 position in worldwide rankings by carrying about 96.3 million passengers. The Texas-based American Airlines, which carried about 100 million passengers, finished first. American Airlines has been the top U.S. airline for the past five years.

The report added that overall passenger traffic on US airlines in the first five months of 2007 was up 1.8 per cent from 2006, with 307.9 million total passengers. In May 2007, US airlines carried 64.7 million passengers, up 0.4 percent from the same month in 2006.




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