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Airline traffic continues nosedive

WASHINGTON — The number of scheduled domestic and international passengers on U.S. airlines in April 2009 declined by 5.6 percent from April 2008, dropping by 3.6 million to 59.5 million, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) reports. April was the 14th consecutive month with a decrease in passengers from the prior year.

BTS, in a release of preliminary data, reports that U.S. airlines carried 5.9 percent fewer domestic passengers than in April 2008. International passengers on U.S. carriers decreased 3.7 percent.

For the first four months of 2009, the number of scheduled domestic and international passengers on U.S. airlines declined by 9.1 percent from the same period in 2008, dropping to 222.1 million, 22.2 million fewer than a year earlier.

U.S. airlines carried 9.2 percent fewer domestic passengers and 8.4 percent fewer international passengers in the first four months of 2009 than during the same period in 2008.

Southwest Airlines carried more total system and more domestic passengers for the first four months than any other U.S. airline. American Airlines carried more international passengers than any other U.S. carrier.

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