Chicago-based United Airlines said a key measure of revenue rose as much as 4.5 percent in July, even as traffic fell.
The airline said revenue for each seat flown one mile -- whether or not it held a passenger -- rose 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent for the month. The higher revenue happened as United cut seats and traffic fell, meaning that the remaining passengers paid a little more to fly in the remaining seats.
Traffic fell 1.1 percent. A 2.8 percent drop in domestic traffic offset a 0.6 percent increase in international traffic, according to the monthly report filed late Wednesday.
United cut its flying capacity by 1.8 percent, including a 2.8 percent cut in domestic flying and a 1.1 percent cut in international. United's flying was roughly evenly split between domestic and international in July.
Occupancy rose 0.6 percentage points to 87.2 percent.
For the first seven months of the year, United traffic has fallen 1.4 percent. Flying capacity is down 3.2 percent. Occupancy has risen 1.6 percentage points to 83.7 percent.