United April traffic fell 3.8 percent

CHICAGO (AP) -- United Airlines said on Tuesday that traffic fell 3.8 percent last month, while a key measure of revenue was flat.

The traffic decline came during a period when government spending cuts were in full force. The biggest drop was in domestic traffic, which fell 5.7 percent.

United cut flying capacity by 2.6 percent last month. Most of the reduction was in domestic flying —down 4.9 percent — while international flying capacity shrank 1.1 percent.

Because traffic dropped faster than it cut flying, United's planes weren't as full. Occupancy shrank 1 percentage point to 81.7 percent.

The airline estimated that per-seat revenue was flat to down 1 percent for April, compared to a year earlier.

Through the first four months of the year, United traffic has fallen 1.9 percent, while it has cut flying capacity by 4.3 percent. Occupancy has risen 2 percentage points to 81.3 percent.

Shares of parent company United Continental Holdings Inc. fell 17 cents to close Tuesday at $33.38.