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Air travelers remain on ground

WASHINGTON — The number of scheduled domestic and international passengers on U.S. airlines in March 2009 declined by 9.1 percent from March 2008, dropping by 6.1 million to 61 million, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports. March was the 13th consecutive month with a decrease in passengers from the prior year.

U.S. airlines carried 8.6 percent fewer domestic passengers than in March 2008. International passengers on U.S. carriers decreased 12.3 percent, the largest year-to-year decline since December 2001.

For the first three months of 2009, the number of scheduled domestic and international passengers on U.S. airlines declined by 10.3 percent from the same period in 2008, dropping to 162.6 million, 18.7 million fewer than a year earlier.

U.S. airlines carried 10.4 percent fewer domestic passengers and 10 percent less international passengers in the first three months of 2009 than during the same period in 2008.

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