American Airlines Inc. said Monday that its airplanes flew 81.7 percent full last month, up 1 percentage point from May 2006. The number of paying passengers per mile declined on both domestic and international routes, but even bigger cuts in capacity kept its percentage of seats filled high.
American said its paying passengers per mile, or traffic, declined 2.9 percent overall, with domestic traffic off 2.5 percent and international traffic down 3.7 percent. Its May capacity fell 4.0 percent - 4.0 percent domestically and 4.1 percent internationally.
Load factors on domestic routes increased 1.2 points to 84.2 percent, the carrier said, while international loads were up 0.3 point to 77.2 percent. Trans-Atlantic loads dropped 1.2 points to 79.5 percent, while loads on Latin American and Pacific routes rose.
Earlier Monday, Southwest Airlines Co. said its load factor, or percentage of seats filled, dropped 2.8 percentage points last month to 74 percent.
The Dallas-based carrier, which has seen its capacity grow faster than traffic each month since February, said its traffic increased 5.2 percent in May compared with a year earlier. Its capacity climbed 9.2 percent.
Through May, Southwest said its load factor was 70.1 percent, down 2.2 points from the same period of 2006.
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