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Revenue per Available Seat Mile (RASM)


Revenue per Available Seat Mile (RASM) is a financial metric used mainly in the airline industry to measure an airline’s operational performance. It demonstrates how much revenue an airline makes per available seat for every mile it flies. Calculated by dividing total revenue by available seat miles (ASM), RASM can provide insights into an airline’s efficiency and profitability.


The phonetics for the keyword “Revenue per Available Seat Mile (RASM)” are as follows: Revenue – /ˈrɛvən(j)uː/per – /pər /Available – /əˈveɪləbəl/Seat – /siːt/Mile – /maɪl/RASM – /ræsm/

Key Takeaways

1. RASM is a key performance indicator for airlines: This metric is used by airlines to measure financial performance. It calculates the revenue generated per available seat per mile flown and helps to understand the efficiency of an airline.2. RASM is influenced by several factors: RASM can change due to variations in passenger demand, operating costs, and seat capacity. Higher RASM values indicate more profitable operations, but they can also reflect higher fares or reduced customer experience.3. Comparing RASM across airlines: When comparing different airlines, RASM becomes a useful tool. A high RASM value may indicate an airline’s efficiency, but it can also reflect an airline that has been more successful in controlling costs, increasing revenue, and effectively managing capacity.


Revenue per Available Seat Mile (RASM) is a crucial metric in the airline industry as it evaluates the efficiency of an airline’s operations from a financial perspective. It calculates the revenue generated by each available seat per mile flown, thus allowing airlines to understand their profitability in relation to the number of seats they offer and the distance these seats travel. A higher RASM typically indicates better performance as it means the airline is maximizing revenue from its flights. It’s useful for comparing the financial performance of different airlines, and allows airlines to make strategic decisions about pricing, capacity management, and operational efficiency.


Revenue per Available Seat Mile (RASM) is widely used in the airline industry as a gauge of financial performance. The primary purpose of RASM is to measure an airline’s operational efficiency. It provides a holistic view of how well the company is using its available resources to generate income. In essence, it measures how much revenue an airline makes for each seat offered to customers, for every mile it flies. This metric allows airlines to identify opportunities for improving their revenue generation strategies.Moreover, comparing RASM across different airlines provides a level playing field for financial analysis. For instance, a low-cost carrier with lower operating costs may have a lower RASM than a larger airline with more expenses, but if the former has a higher operating margin and profitability, it might be considered a more efficiently run company. Besides, the airlines often utilize RASM to benchmark their performance against their competitors, and stakeholders use it to monitor the health and efficiency of a company’s operations. Understanding the RASM helps the management and the investors to make critical decisions about pricing, capacity, and route strategies.


1. Delta Air Lines: In their Q3 2019 earnings report, Delta Air Lines reported a RASM of 17.49 cents which was an increase of 2.5% year-over-year (YOY). It indicated that Delta was doing a good job utilizing its capacity effectively to generate revenue.2. Southwest Airlines: In Q2 2020, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Southwest Airlines reported a RASM of 8.39 cents, a sharp decrease compared to 13.92 cents the year prior. This significant drop reflected the impact of reduced passenger demand due to global travel restrictions.3. American Airlines: In their Q1 2020, American Airlines reported a RASM of 14.49 cents, a decrease from 15.89 cents a year ago. The calculation helped the company focus on how they can increase efficiency, boost revenues, or cut costs, especially during the pandemic economic downturn. In each of these examples, RASM is used as a key indicator of the airline’s financial health and operational efficiency. It shows how well the airline is turning its capacity (available seat miles) into revenue.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Revenue per Available Seat Mile (RASM)?

RASM is a key performance metric often used in the airline industry to measure operational efficiency, defined as the total operating revenue per available seat-mile in flight.

How is RASM calculated?

RASM is calculated by dividing total revenue by the total number of available seat miles. The formula is RASM = Total Revenue / Available Seat Miles.

Why is RASM important in the aviation industry?

RASM is essential in the aviation industry because it provides an indicator of how well an airline fills seats and generates revenue.

What factors can affect the RASM?

Factors like passenger demand, ticket pricing, fuel costs, operational efficiency, and airline capacity can all impact the RASM of an airline.

How does RASM differ from CASM (Cost per Available Seat Mile)?

While RASM measures the revenue generated per seat mile available, CASM measures the cost incurred for each seat mile available.

How can an airline improve its RASM?

There are several ways to improve RASM: Increasing seat occupancy, raising ticket prices, improving route efficiency, or diversifying revenue streams (like baggage fees or in-flight services).

Which is more important, a higher RASM or a lower CASM?

Both are significant, but they serve different purposes. A higher RASM indicates better revenue generation, while a lower CASM exhibits lower operating costs. For the best financial health, airlines strive to maintain a balance between the two.

Can I use RASM to compare performance between different airlines?

Yes, RASM can be a helpful comparison tool among airlines, helping to gauge operational efficiency and revenue optimization. However, it is critical to consider other financial and operational metrics for a comprehensive performance analysis.

Does RASM have applications beyond the airline industry?

While RASM is predominantly used in the airline industry, analogous metrics can be used in other industries, such as hotels, which might use a similar measurement like Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR).

Can RASM affect ticket pricing?

Yes, airlines may adjust ticket prices based on RASM calculations. If an airline’s RASM is too low, they might increase prices to boost revenue and fill more seats on each flight.

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