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Southwest Airlines June Traffic Rose 7.5% On Higher Capacity

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Southwest Airlines Co.'s (LUV) June traffic rose 7.5% as the passenger airline flew more trips during the month. Southwest, the largest domestic U.S. airline by passenger numbers, bought discount carrier AirTran in May for $1.4 billion in an effort to expand its reach and capacity. Combined revenue passenger miles rose to 9.63 billion from 8.96 billion a year earlier. Separately, Airtran traffic rose 2.4% to 1.94 billion revenue passenger miles, while namesake Southwest traffic increased 8.9% to 7.69 billion miles. Combined capacity rose 6.2% to 11.49 billion available seat miles while load factor, or the percentage of available seats filled, rose to 83.9% from 82.8%. During the month, Southwest flew 122,783 trips a 3.2% increase from last year. Shares closed at $11.61 Thursday and were inactive premarket. The stock has fallen 11% so far this year. -By Melodie Warner, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2283; melodie.warner@dowjones.com

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