US Airways sees smaller gain in revenue measureThe Associated Press
TEMPE, Ariz. -- US Airways said Friday that a key revenue measure rose only 1 percent in July, a sign of slower price-raising by U.S. airlines.
The same figure rose by 6 percent to 10 percent for each of the first six months of the year.
The statistic measures revenue for each mile times available seats, and it rose strongly after airlines pushed through about a dozen fare increases in 2011 and early 2012.
US Airways President Scott Kirby said last week that the airline saw a "modest slowdown" in business travel starting in late May. The softer demand, compounded by comparison to strong sales last year, led Kirby to predict that July's revenue measure would rise only 1 to 2 percent.
The figure includes regional flying under the US Airways Express brand. US Airways is the nation's fifth-largest airline behind United, Delta, American and Southwest.
Passenger traffic rose 0.4 percent including Express flights, as customers flew 6.24 billion miles compared with 6.21 billion in July 2011. Excluding Express flights, the increase was just 0.1 percent.
The company increased passenger-carrying capacity by 2.2 percent. Airlines can raise capacity by adding flights, using bigger planes or flying more miles.
The average plane was 86.2 percent full, compared with 87.7 percent in July 2011. Excluding Express flights, the average was 86.7 percent, down from 88.3 percent.
Shares of US Airways Group Inc. rose 26 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $10.94 in midday trading. Through Thursday, the shares had gained 111 percent this year, helped by the Tempe, Ariz., company's aggressive push for a merger with American, which would create a third airline roughly the same size as United and Delta.