U.S. News

JetBlue April traffic rose 6 percent


JetBlue's April traffic rose 6 percent and a key revenue figure grew as well, the airline said Monday, providing more evidence of an overall uptick in travel.

The company said its passenger revenue per available seat mile, a measure of performance and pricing power in the airline industry, rose 4 percent in April.

However, planes were slightly less full because JetBlue's has been aggressively adding flights.

The carrier said paying passengers flew 2.36 billion miles last month, compared with 2.22 billion in April 2009.

Capacity measured in available seat miles, or the number of miles flown times seats, rose 6.1 percent to 2.93 billion. Airlines add capacity by adding flights or using bigger planes with more seats.

With capacity growing faster than traffic, average occupancy slipped 0.1 percentage point, to 80.5 percent.

Southwest Airlines Co. reported late last week that traffic declined last month, yet it was able to raise revenue through fees and higher ticket prices, also suggesting that passengers are increasingly likely to fly.

Shares in JetBlue Airways Corp. rose 36 cents, or 7 percent, to $5.68 in afternoon trading.