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US Airways Nov. passenger revenue falls 4 percent

TEMPE, Ariz. -- US Airways said on Wednesday that a key measure of revenue was lower than it had expected in November because of the late timing of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The airline said per-seat passenger revenue fell 4 percent in November compared to the same month last year. The late Thanksgiving meant that travelers took the return half of their holiday trip in December. As a result, US Airways said it expects December passenger revenue to be higher than it had expected.

Delta Air Lines reported a similar November-December tradeoff on Monday.

US Airways said November traffic fell 0.8 percent. Flying capacity rose 5.3 percent. The increase wasn't necessarily because the airline added flights. A year ago, Superstorm Sandy forced airlines to cancel thousands of flights, causing their totals to look higher this year.

Because traffic fell even as capacity was rising, occupancy fell on US Airways planes. Its load factor fell 5 percentage points to 79.8 percent.

For the year so far, traffic has risen 4.6 percent. Flying capacity is up 3.9 percent. Load factor has risen a half percentage point to 84.3 percent.

US Airways has gotten approval for its merger with American Airlines in a deal that is expected to close on Monday.

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