American Airlines unit revenue up in early 2011

ATLANTA (Reuters) - American Airlines parent AMR Corp <AMR.N> said passenger unit revenue rose about 4.5 percent to 5 percent in the first two months of this year compared with a year before.

The company said in a federal filing on Tuesday that the revenue results reflect capacity increases by rivals during the first quarter and relatively strong growth last year that made for a more challenging comparison for 2011.

American said weather-related flight cancellations have reduced revenue by about $50 million in January and February of this year.

As rising fuel prices pose a challenge to the industry recovery, American said industry fare increases have accelerated.

The carrier said it plans for this year's consolidated capacity, which includes feeder aircraft, to be 1 percent lower than previously disclosed. It cited more international flying and said more fuel-efficient Boeing <BA.N> 737 planes would replace smaller, less efficient Boeing MD-80 planes.

Last month, Delta Air Lines Inc <DAL.N> said it would cut its planned capacity growth for 2011 and accelerate retirements of older, less fuel efficient planes in the wake of higher fuel prices.

(Reporting by Karen Jacobs, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)