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Travelers staying on the ground

The number of scheduled domestic and international passengers on U.S. airlines in Aug. 2009 declined by 4.1 percent from Aug. 2008, dropping by 2.8 million to 65 million, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). August was the 17th consecutive month with a decrease in passengers from the prior year.

BTS, in a release of preliminary data, reported international passengers on U.S. carriers decreased 4.5 percent.

For the first eight months of 2009, the number of scheduled domestic and international passengers on U.S. airlines declined by 7.6 percent from the same period in 2008, dropping to 478.6 million, 39.3 million fewer than a year earlier, and the lowest January-to-August total since 2004.

U.S. airlines carried 7.5 percent fewer domestic passengers and 8.2 percent fewer international passengers in the first eight months of 2009 than during the same period in 2008.

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