Traffic to the airline industry as a whole has increased over the past 3 years, but this growth has not been shared by all airline brands. Let’s break down the website traffic to the top ten US airlines to determine key differences that help some of them soar above the rest.
When you break down the online market share of the ten largest airlines, it appears that most of them retained fairly steady traffic share over the past 3 years. Southwest Airlines has consistently retained the largest share of airline traffic, with a bit of drop-off in 2016. Around the same time, American Airlines gained a significant increase in traffic share, which aligns with slight declines in Southwest and JetBlue.
Geography also plays a role in the airline that people choose to travel with. Airlines with a wider national reach, such as Southwest, perform better than airlines with more limited options, like Alaska or Allegiant. The Midwest appears loyal to Delta, while the Northeast shows preference for JetBlue.
The customer composition of the top ten airlines tends to be fairly similar, and dispersed evenly between age groups. However, Virgin America shakes things up by attracting a younger crowd; they also skew more heavily female compared to the airline industry as a whole. This suggests that although Virgin has a smaller audience, they may have a more unique and Millennial edge.
Want more? This data was excerpted from our full Airline Industry Report which you can download here.
Source: Audience data (age, gender etc.) pulled using Hitwise AudienceView over eight weeks ending February 25th, 2016. The market share chart measured Airline industry visit share using Hitwise, measured over 3 years from February 2014 – February 2017.