American Airlines revenue measure rises

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- Demand for international travel boosted traffic and a key revenue measure on American Airlines last month.

American parent AMR Corp. said Tuesday that passenger revenue for every seat flown one mile rose 1.7 percent in June to a record 14.39 cents.

That statistic is a closely watched measure of pricing power in the airline business, because airlines can increase revenue per seat by charging higher average fares.

AMR said that passengers on American and regional subsidiary American Eagle flew 12.46 billion miles last month, up 2.4 percent from 12.17 billion miles in June 2012.

The airlines raised passenger-carrying capacity even faster, however — by 2.6 percent — so the average flight was 86.9 percent full, down from 87.1 percent a year earlier. Domestic flights, however, were more crowded than in June 2012.

Traffic across the Atlantic declined 1.8 percent, but traffic to and from Latin America rose 10.1 percent, and Asia Pacific traffic jumped 12.2 percent.

AMR, which has been operating under bankruptcy protection since late 2011, has agreed to merge with US Airways. If the deal closes in August or September, as airline officials predict, it would vault American from the third-biggest U.S. airline to the largest in the world.