The Associated Press May 6, 2010, 6:22PM ET

Delta Air Lines says April traffic fell 2.2 pct

Delta Air Lines Inc. said on Thursday that its April traffic fell 2.2 percent, but it reduced its capacity so that it flew fuller planes.

During the month, Delta flew 15.08 billion revenue passenger miles, down from 15.42 billion in the same month a year earlier. A revenue passenger mile is an industry metric representing one paying passenger flown one mile.

Capacity fell 4.1 percent to 18.18 billion available seat miles from 18.95 billion a year earlier.

Load factor, or occupancy, rose 1.6 percentage points to 83 percent.

For the first four months of the year, Delta's traffic fell 1.6 percent to 57.45 billion revenue passenger miles. Capacity slid 4.3 percent to 71.48 billion available seat miles. Load factor climbed 2.2 percentage points to 80.4 percent.

Delta shares fell 61 cents, or 5 percent, to close at $11.72 after a plunge in the broader market. The stock has ranged from $5.31 to $14.94 over the past year.

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