AP News

US Airways August passenger revenue up 1 percent

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — US Airways Group Inc. said Wednesday that August passenger revenue rose at a much slower pace than traffic, compared to the same month last year.

Passenger revenue per available seat mile, which measures how much an airline makes to fly a passenger a single mile, rose 1 percent. That was in line with the company's expectations. Last August a congressional standoff led to a period in which some government taxes on airline tickets weren't collected, and the airlines pounced. Nearly all airlines raised prices to account for the break in extra fees, padding that month's revenue figures.

US Airways traffic, including regional flights, rose 5.7 percent last month.

The steepest increase in traffic came on flights to Latin America. US Airways expanded flying by 11 percent on those routes to capture higher demand. Overall US Airways capacity rose 5.5 percent.

Domestic flights were more packed last month, with the airline's occupancy rate rising 1.4 percentage points to 88.2 percent. Flights to Europe and Latin America were not as full.

So far this year traffic is up 2.9 percent with a similar increase in the number of available seats. Airlines can increase seat numbers by either flying more flights or using larger planes.

At an investors' conference Wednesday, President Scott Kirby said US Airways expects September per-seat passenger revenue to be flat to up 2 percent.

Shares rose or 50 cents, or 4.7 percent, to $10.95 in afternoon trading.

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