US airline traffic tumbles again

Washington DC
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Passenger traffic on US carriers dropped 10% last month compared with the same period the previous year despite declining ticket prices in the economic downturn.

Declines occurred on the US mainland and in transatlantic, transpacific and Latin American markets, according to trade group the Air Transport Association of America (ATA).

Faltering traffic occurred in conjunction with deteriorating passenger revenue, which fell 23% last month compared with the same period in 2008. The decline marked the fifth consecutive month in which passenger revenue fell from the prior year.

Softening passenger demand impacted the US industry at the same time that US cargo traffic declined 21% year-over-year in February, the latest available results.

February's falling cargo figures matched January's decline and marked the seventh consecutive month of deteriorating cargo traffic.

Within specific regions, ATA notes that traffic in Latin American markets fell 27% year-over-year and year-over-year results were also impacted by February 2009 having one fewer day than February 2008.