Load Factor

MarketWatch  Jun 4  Comment 
Delta Air Lines Inc. reported May load factor that declined from a year ago, as capacity growth outpaced the increase in traffic. Traffic rose 2.9% to 19.69 billion revenue passenger miles, with domestic traffic rising 3.7% and international...
MarketWatch  Apr 6  Comment 
Southwest Airlines Co. reported Friday March load factor that rose to a record for the month, as growth in the demand for seats outpaced the increase in supply. Traffic for the month increased 3.7% to 11.7 billion revenue passenger miles (RPMs),...
MarketWatch  Dec 4  Comment 
Shares of Delta Air Lines Inc. tacked on 1.3% in premarket trade Monday, after the air carrier said November load factor rose from a year ago, as traffic growth outpaced an increase in capacity. Load factor was 85.4% last month, up from 85.0% a...


Load factor is a metric used primarily in the transportation industry. A company's load factor is defined as percentage of their available seats that are filled.

Load factor = Revenue Passenger Miles (RPM) / Available Seat Miles (ASM)

Companies can determine a minimum load factor they need to meet in order to break even financially. That is, once a company meets a certain load factor the revenues from doing so will cover the costs of providing their seat capacity. If they are below this break-even load factor the company will be spending more than they are earning and will lose money.

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