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Southwest Airlines announces March and 1Q10 traffic

Southwest Airlines has released traffic figures for March 2010 and for the first quarter of the calendar year.

The company flew 6,676,372,000 revenue passenger miles (RPMs) in March 2010, an increase of 0.4% from the 6,651,832,000 RPMs flown in March 2009. Available seat miles (ASMs) decreased by 4.2% to 8,245,430,000 from the March 2009 level of 8,607,741,000.

The load factor for the month thus rose to 81.0%, up 3.7 percentage points from the 77.3% for the same period last year. Revenue passengers carried in March totalled 7,704,256, compared with 7,674,577 in March 2009, a 0.4% increase.

For March 2010, passenger revenue per ASM is estimated to have increased in the 22% range as compared to March 2009.

For the first quarter 2010, Southwest flew 17,161,713,000 RPMs, compared to 16,891,629,000 RPMs flown for the same period in 2009, an increase of 1.6%. ASMs decreased 6.4% to 22,619,460,000 from the first quarter 2009 level of 24,171,675,000. The first quarter 2010 load factor was 75.9%, 6.0 percentage points up on the 69.9% achieved in the same period last year.

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