First of all, you may ask "What's a load factor?" The airlines will tell you it's the percentage of available seating capacity that is filled with passengers, or to put it more simply, for all the scheduled flights, the percentage of seats that are sold on a particular airline. This is important to the health of that airline — and the industry as a whole. If load factors are high or simply increasing, this tells you that more people are flying, which means the airlines are making more money. Plus, the airlines could also soon need additional pilots and aircraft to meet this increased demand. And if you're training to be an airline pilot — or plan to start your training soon — this is very good news.
Figures provided by major US and low-cost airlines show that five of the nine airlines examined reported demand growth (increased load factors) in September. Five of these nine airlines reported growth of between 8% and 11%. This is strong growth.
September's load factors as compared to September 2008 were up for eight out of nine U.S. airlines. The increases were as follows: AirTran 77% (up 2.6%), Alaska Airlines 77.9 (up 2.0%), American 79.4% (up 2.8%), Continental 82.2% (up 4.8%), Delta 82.6% (up 1.4%), jetBlue 77.6% (up 0.9%), Southwest 74.7% (up 11.3%), United 85.8% (up 2.6%).
There is no better time than right now to start your pilot training. For more information contact www.pea.com.