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US Airways Group March Consolidated Traffic Up 4.5% - Update

Airline operator US Airways Group, Inc. (LCC) reported Monday operational results for the airlines for the month of March. Consolidated traffic grew 4.5 percent, capacity rose 3.1 percent, and load factor increased 1.1 percentage points. The airlines' performance was the best March operational performance in its history, and also best first quarter ever, which included seven days with zero mainline cancellations.

The airline also said its preliminary on-time performance as reported to the U.S. Department of Transportation was a record of 87.3 percent in March, with an all-time record completion factor of 99.4 percent.

"Our March consolidated (mainline and Express) passenger revenue per available seat mile (PRASM) increased approximately 8 percent versus the same period last year," President Scott Kirby said in a statement.

Tempe, Arizona-based US Airways' consolidated March traffic, measured in revenue passenger miles, or RPMs, grew 4.5 percent to 5.53 billion from the same month last year. American region traffic increased 4.3 percent, Atlantic region traffic rose 6.5 percent, and Latin region traffic grew 4.7 percent.

Consolidated capacity, measured in terms of available seat miles, or ASMs, grew 3.1 percent to 6.59 billion from March 2011. American region capacity increased 3.2 percent, Atlantic region capacity was up 2.0 percent, and Latin region capacity rose 3.6 percent.

Consolidated passenger load factor for the month of March reached 84.0 percent, up 1.1 percentage points from 82.9 percent in the year-ago month. American region edged up 0.8 percentage points, Latin region grew 3.3 percentage points, and Atlantic region load factor advanced 0.9 percentage points.

Total enplanements in March increased 2.6 percent to 5.50 million from March last year. Enplanements for American region grew 2.4 percent, Atlantic region advanced 5.3 percent, and Latin region rose 3.3 percent from last year.

US Airways mainline March traffic advanced 4.8 percent to 5.34 billion RPMs from the year-ago, and mainline capacity grew 3.3 percent to 6.32 billion ASMs from March 2011.

Mainline load factor for the month of March rose 1.2 percentage points to 84.6 percent from the same month last year. Total mainline enplanements in March increased 3.3 percent to 4.85 million from March last year.

However, March traffic for US Airways Express, covering only American region and operated by Piedmont Airlines and PSA Airlines, decreased 3.1 percent to 191.07 million RPMs from the year-ago month. Express capacity also declined 2.8 percent to 270.85 million ASMs from March 2011.

Express load factor for the month of March edged down 0.3 percentage points to 70.5 percent from the same month last year. Total express enplanements in March decreased 2.6 percent to 652,808 from March last year.

For the year-to-date three-month period, US Airways' consolidated traffic grew 5.2 percent to 14.83 billion RPMs from the year-ago period, and consolidated capacity increased 3.8 percent to 18.49 billion ASMs from the prior-year period. Consolidated load factor for the period also rose 1.1 percentage point to 80.2 percent from the same period last year.

LCC closed Tuesday's regular trading session at $7.74, up $0.25 on a volume of 6.95 million shares.

by RTT Staff Writer

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