American Airlines Reports Increase in Traffic, Revenue Figure

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) —

American Airlines said Monday that passenger traffic and a key revenue figure rose in August compared with last summer, in a sign of continuing solid demand for air travel.

American said that passenger revenue for every seat flown one mile rose 3 percent compared with August 2012. That figure rises if airlines sell more tickets at high prices, and fewer at discounted sale fares.

The American increase, which also included the American Eagle regional carrier, was slightly below increases at United, Delta, Southwest and US Airways, but still set a company record for the month of August.

American and Eagle reported that traffic rose 3.2 percent, as passengers flew 12.75 billion miles last month, up from 12.36 billion in August 2012. International traffic rose 6.7 percent, as more people flew to Asia and Latin America, while traffic within the U.S. grew just 0.8 percent.

Combined, American and Eagle increased capacity by 4.2 percent, with most of the growth on international routes. Airlines raise capacity by adding flights or using bigger planes that hold more passengers.

With capacity growing faster than traffic, there were more empty seats. The average August flight was 85 percent full, compared with 85.8 percent a year earlier.

Through August, traffic in 2013 has increased 1.3 percent; capacity has grown by 0.8 percent; and the average flight was 83.1 percent full, up from 82.7 percent in 2012.

American parent AMR Corp., which is attempting to merge with US Airways, filed for bankruptcy protection in 2011, but has cut labor costs and posted stronger results. It earned $220 million in the quarter that ended June 30, and it set a one-month record with a $292 million profit for July.

The U.S. Justice Department and several states are suing in federal court to block the merger, which they say will restrict competition and drive up prices for consumers.

Shares of Fort Worth-based AMR, which trade over the counter, rose 2 cents to close at $3.29.

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