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SENSOR TOWER · ABRAHAM YOUSEF · JULY 2023

US airlines continue to cruise in 2023

US airlines are experiencing gains in passenger numbers despite tighter budgets, as travel remains a significant source of discretionary spending. The number of passengers passing through TSA checkpoints increased in line with download and monthly active user growth. New user growth at Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines exceeded churn in 2Q23.

US Airlines Continue to Cruise in 2023

Key Takeaways:

  • Despite tighter budgets, travel remains a significant source of discretionary spending, with US airlines continuing to see gains

    • The number of passengers passing through TSA checkpoints rose 10.4% YoY in 2Q23; this is inline with both download and MAU growth for the cohort, which rose 1.4% and 12% YoY, respectively, per Sensor Tower data

    • New and resurrected user growth YoY in the US at Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines exceeded the rise in churn in 2Q23

    • Two of the biggest growth drivers in travel are the return of international and business travelers, coupled with the addition of international routes by the larger US carriers

    • US airlines are also seeing gains from a surge of demand internationally 2, with downloads and MAUs rising 2% YoY and 38% YoY, respectively, outside the US in 2Q23, per Sensor Tower data

    • User engagement on airline mobile apps appears to be following cyclical trends, with a rise in both average session count and time spent of 4% QoQ and 1% QoQ in 2Q23, respectively, as late spring and early summer are peak travel periods

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Abraham Yousef

Written by: Abraham Yousef, Senior Insights Analyst

Date: July 2023