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US carriers continue to see weak traffic

Passenger revenue continued its downward spiral for US operators in June, falling 26% from the same period last year, as lingering impacts of the H1N1 virus continued to compound the weak economy.

The latest data from the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) show the eighth consecutive month in which passenger sales have faltered from the previous year.

The number of passengers travelling on US carriers in June dropped 6.5% year-over-year as pricing continued to weaken. The average price to fly one mile fell 20.7% from the year-prior.

"Despite extreme price discounting, June data reflect ongoing weakness in demand for air travel. The airline industry remains fragile as this country continues to suffer from the worst recession since the 1930s," ATA president and CEO James May says in a statement.

As passenger demand softened, US airlines experienced a 20% drop in cargo traffic in May, the latest statistics available. ATA says it is the tenth consecutive month of declining cargo activity, and the association notes cargo traffic in the Pacific region fell 26% year-over-year.

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