Southwest fills more seats, revenue figure rises

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Associated Press

Posted on July 9, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 9 at 2:30 PM

DALLAS (AP) — Southwest Airlines Co. said Wednesday that a key revenue figure rose sharply in June, which hinted that the carrier was able to charge higher average fares at the start of the summer travel season.

Southwest, which also operates AirTran Airways, said that passenger revenue for every seat flown one mile jumped by 7 percent to 8 percent last month, compared with June 2013. For the April-June quarter, the figure grew more than 8 percent, the company said.

The closely watched revenue statistic increases when average fares rise and airlines fill more seats.

Dallas-based Southwest said that traffic rose 2.2 percent, as passengers flew 10.07 billion miles last month. That outstripped an increase of 0.9 percent in capacity, resulting in fuller planes. The average flight was 86.1 percent full, compared with 85 percent in June 2013.

Shares of Southwest rose 60 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $27.30 in morning trading. They began the day up 42 percent in 2014.

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