Summer travel season means more traffic, fewer empty seats at American Airlines, US Airways

IndustriesAssociated Press

Passengers are flying more and empty seats are even harder to find on American Airlines and US Airways.

The company said Tuesday that traffic last month rose 4.8 percent compared with July 2014, as passengers flew 21.8 billion miles. That was faster than the 2.2 percent increase in seats, so the average flight was 87.3 percent full, compared with 85.1 percent in July 2014.

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All the numbers include regional flights by American Eagle and US Airways Express.

American didn't report the average fare but said that it still expects a key revenue figure to decline by 6 to 8 percent in the July-through-September period, compared with last summer. That points to a likely decline in average prices, a trend that has concerned airline investors recently.

Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. rose $1.56, or 3.7 percent, to $43.24 in morning trading. They began the day down 16 percent in 2015 despite a 4 percent gain since July 1.