Flight Friday: How Are The U.S. 'Big 4' Airlines Faring Compared To 2019?

American Airlines Boeing 777 outside hangar
Credit: American Airlines

With Aviation Week’s MRO Americas event on the horizon, this week’s #FlightFriday looks at U.S. focused data.

This week we look at how many flights (cycles) the U.S. “Big 4” airlines are operating compared to their respective equivalent month in 2019.

American Airlines: From January 2023, American has been operating more flights than the equivalent month from 2019, and flights have tracked very closely to 2019 numbers since.

Delta Air Lines: Delta has yet to operate the same number of flights compared to the same month in 2019, however they are operating in the upper 90% range and should surpass 2019 numbers in the coming quarter.


Southwest Airlines: Southwest have been operating at over 100% since August 2022, due to their strength in the U.S. domestic market. The only blemish is December 2022, with the well-publicized computer issues that Southwest faced during the month.

United Airlines: United surpassed 100% flight as of the start of the 4th quarter of 2022 and has remained above that number. Of all the “Big 4,” United leads in terms of number of flights when compared to its 2019 figure.

This data was put together using Aviation Week’s Tracked Aircraft Utilization tool.

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