Passenger load factor

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Passenger load factor, or load factor, measures the capacity utilization of public transport services like airlines, passenger railways, and intercity bus services. It is generally used to assess how efficiently a transport provider "fills seats" and generates fare revenue.

According to the International Air Transport Association, the worldwide load factor for the passenger airline industry during 2013 was 79.5%.[1]

Calculation example[edit]

Specifically, the load factor is the dimensionless ratio of passenger-kilometres travelled to seat-kilometres available. For example, say that on a particular day an airline makes 5 scheduled flights, each of which travels 200 kilometers and has 100 seats, and sells 60 tickets for each flight. To calculate its load factor:

\frac{(5\ flights)(200\ km)(60\ passengers)}{(5\ flights)(200\ km)(100\ seats)} = \frac{60,000\ passenger \centerdot km }{100,000\ seat\centerdot km} = 0.6 = 60\%

Thus, during that day the airline flew 60,000 passenger-kilometres and 100,000 seat-kilometres, for an overall load factor of 60% (0.6).

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