The Information & Insight Center For Aviation Professionals
Datasets To Be Revised Up To Current
AirlineFinancials.com has for years been at the forefront of providing industry financial and operational data, translated and corrected from the raw SEC and DOT filings.
Today, the operational and revenue performance at American, Delta, and United are combinations of data from several certificated carriers. This site reflects this new industry structure and delivers data that are more consistent in analyzing airline financial performance based on these realities.
Watch for additional reports in the coming months as we continue to build on the foundation of excellence that has defined this site.
Airline Systems Covered -
Operational & Financial Data For
If you are visiting this site, you probably have some interest in airline analysis. As you'll see, AirlineFinancials.com(tm) is not typical of other sources of industry information.
What you won’t find here is stock advice or predictions on what will occur to a specific airline into the future. One reason is that none of the principals of the firm own or trade in airline securities.
What you will find is user-friendly analysis for the airlines listed above that is more comparative than other analytical reports you may have used . In addition to the usual SEC and BTS data, the analysis here includes dozens of easy to interpret charts and graphs which compare airline finances and operations with numerous break downs from labor costs to passenger ticket expense.
A short summary of the contents
[Industry Insight] - Opinions and comments on the airline industry.
[Key Metrics] - Current financial and operational data with user friendly interactive analysis for next quarter and current year projections.
[Network Carrier Systems] - This page will provide the quickest comparisons using annual data from years 2002-2013 for American, United, Delta and Southwest. American will encompass US Airways and Southwest will be blended with AirTran The index provides short descriptions to help locate charts with the specific data you are looking for.
[Lift Lessors (Regional Airlines)] - Data and charts comparing affiliate driven metrics derived from small lift providers (still mis-labeled as "regional airlines.) Because these certificated carriers are in business to sell lift to major carrier customers - instead of being directly in the retail airline business - these reports compare financial results only. The passengers they carry and the capacity they offer are represented in the consolidated data of their customers - major airlines.
[Non-Network Carriers] - This page will provide the quickest comparisons using annual data from years 2002-2012 for JetBlue, Alaska, Air Tran, Frontier and Allegiant. The index provides short descriptions to help locate charts with the specific data you are looking for.
[Year 2000-2013 Change] - Selected data and charts showing the change since 9/11.
[Bio, Links and Glossary] - Web links that can be used to support the data in this analysis, a brief bio of the author and glossary of industry terms.
One of the first issues to be recognized in airline analysis is due to the uniqueness of each airline’s operation, it is virtually impossible to make analogous airline-to-airline comparisons.
Similar to other industry analytical reports, the analysis you find here uses public data from various sources. Within the limitations of the airlines specific reporting criteria, the data is separated into mainline and affiliate sections. This data is then formatted into numerous user-friendly charts which provide airline-to-airline comparisons over multi year and quarterly time periods.
Annual reports are provided for the 7 largest major airlines. US Airways/America West consolidated has been included since their merger in 2005. Delta acquired Northwest in 2008. United and Continental merged in 2010. Southwest acquired Air Tran in 2011.
The commentary page will provide occasional opinions and comments about the industry and specific airlines.
[Airline Stock Data] - Regularly updated stock data for each airline
Airline data reporting 101-
Airlines report data primarily via two publicly available sources. Raw data is sent to the BTS (Bureau of Transportation) and airlines also file quarterly and annual reports with the SEC (Security Exchange Commission).
There is considerable “flexibility” in how each airline categorizes their data for BTS and SEC reports.
Some airlines have “capacity purchase agreements” with up to several small feeder carriers. Most -other- analyst reports combine the affiliated generated revenue into mainline operating revenue. Affiliate expenses are also frequently co-mingled into the mainline operating expenses.
Due to the large affiliate impact for some airlines; up to 40% of mainline capacity and revenue, it is misleading to make “mainline” airline-to-airline comparisons unless that affiliate impact is separated from the mainline operation.
Misleading comparisons can be further compounded when cumulative data over a specific time period (annually) is ratioed by using a year ending divisor.
An example: Employee capacity productivity is calculated by using the cumulative ASM’s for a total of the 12 months but may use a year-ending employee count as the divisor. This methodology fails to consider it is common to have a large increase or decrease in employee counts during short-term time periods which can distort the productivity ratios.
One of the other more noticeable differences in this analysis vis-à-vis others is specific category expense ratios are compared to operating revenue opposed to operating expense. The reasoning for this is regardless of expense totals, which frequently include non-cash write-offs; in the end it is the operating revenue that is required to cover the cash expenses referenced in this report.
This report does not use any adjusted stage lengths or seat densities to equate “could be” scenarios. The actual unit costs and revenues, due to each airlines unique operation make adjusting these metrics useless for legitimate airline-to-airline comparisons.
It is unrealistic to use a narrow range of metrics to form conclusions. Only by using multiple categories viewed over a longer-term time period can legitimate conclusions be formed regarding financial and operational weakness or/and strength for each airline currently or projected into the future.