United Airlines reports dip in September traffic, especially on United Express flights

IndustrialsAssociated Press

United Continental Holdings Inc. reported Thursday that passenger traffic in September dipped 0.2 percent, with most of the decline on its United Express regional flights.

Passengers on United and United Express flew 16.63 billion miles last month. International traffic rose less than 1 percent, while domestic traffic declined by a similar amount, including 0.9 percent on United Express.

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The company shrank passenger-carrying capacity by 0.4 percent in September. Airlines can reduce capacity by flying fewer flights or using smaller aircraft. The average flight was 82.9 percent full, up from 82.7 percent a year earlier.

The airline's shares fell $1.66, or 3.7 percent, to $43.83. In after-hours trading, they were up 89 cents, or 2 percent, to $44.72.