Continental says traffic rose 6 pct in December

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HOUSTON (AP) — Continental Airlines Inc. said on Monday that its traffic rose 6 percent in December as it flew more planes with more passengers.

Continental said passengers flew 7.54 billion revenue passenger miles last month, compared with 7.11 billion revenue passenger miles flown in December 2008. A revenue passenger mile is an industry metric measuring one paying passenger flown one mile.

Capacity rose 2.1 percent to 9.09 billion available seat miles from 8.9 billion available seat miles. Occupancy climbed to 83 percent from 79.9 percent.

For the full year, paying passengers flew 89.14 billion revenue passenger miles, down 3.8 percent from the year before. Capacity fell 5.2 percent to 109.55 billion available seat miles. Occupancy rose to 81.4 percent from 80.2 percent.

Shares of Continental Airlines added 22 cents to finish Monday’s trading at $18.14.