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Southwest traffic rises 11.3 percent in December |

Southwest traffic rises 11.3 percent in December

| Saturday, January 8, 2011 12:00 a.m

Southwest Airlines Co. said Friday its traffic rose 11.3 percent in December, compared to the final month of 2009, as it added more seats and it flew fuller flights. The Dallas-based airline said it flew paying passengers 6.6 billion miles last month, compared to 6 billion in December 2009. Its capacity, or available seat miles climbed 5.6 percent to 8.3 billion. An available seat mile measures one seat flown one mile. The airline’s load factor, or occupancy rate, was 80.4 percent compared to 76.2 percent for the same period last year. It also said passenger revenue per available seat mile — a key measure of airline performance — is estimated to have increased about 5 percent compared to December 2009.

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