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Article updated: 3/8/2013 8:38 AM

United Airlines passenger revenue up sharply


United Airlines said a key measure of revenue rose as much as 7.5 percent in February, after a weak showing a year earlier.

United reported late Thursday that passenger revenue for each seat flown one mile rose an estimated 6.5 percent to 7.5 percent for the month. A year earlier, a switch to a new computer system for predicting demand hurt passenger revenue growth.

United traffic fell 3.4 percent in February as demand weakened for flights to Europe. Demand for U.S. flights was down 4 percent. But worldwide flying capacity fell faster -- down 8.4 percent from a year earlier. That meant that the remaining planes were fuller, with load factor rising 4.1 percentage points to 78.7 percent.

Cargo shipments, as measured by revenue ton miles, dropped 15.7 percent.

Shares of parent company United Continental Holdings Inc., which is based in Chicago, finished at $29.61 on Thursday.

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