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American Airlines traffic up slightly in November

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- Traffic on American Airlines rose slightly in November, but a key revenue measure slipped, which the company blamed on Superstorm Sandy and continuing problems with flight delays.

Parent AMR Corp. said Monday that passenger revenue for one mile flown by each seat fell 2.3 percent compared with November 2011. The figure, which includes flights on the American Eagle regional line, is a closely watched statistic in the airline business. It falls when airlines fill fewer seats, charge lower fares, or both.

AMR said the revenue statistic would have increased by 1 percent if it hadn't been for Sandy and ongoing delays.

The airline had previously announced that it lost about $25 million in revenue because of Sandy, which caused thousands of canceled flights on the East Coast, and lost another $30 million in revenue because some customers may have booked other airlines after American experienced a surge in delays during a labor dispute with pilots.

Paying passengers flew 10.64 billion miles last month, up 0.7 percent from November 2011. Traffic rose 1 percent on American but fell 3.3 percent on the smaller American Eagle operation.

American and Eagle increased their combined passenger-carrying capacity by 1.9 percent — usually that indicates more flights.

The average flight was 80.7 percent full, down from 81.6 percent a year earlier.

Fort Worth-based American is the nation's third-biggest airline behind United and Delta. American and AMR have been under bankruptcy protection since November 2011.