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March traffic up 1 percent at American Airlines

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- March traffic inched higher by 1 percent on American Airlines and regional subsidiary American Eagle, and a key revenue measure was virtually flat.

Parent AMR Corp. said Monday that passenger revenue for each seat flown one mile rose 0.3 percent.

That's a closely watched measure of pricing power in the airline industry, and the results from American echoed similar weak revenue reports from other airlines last week. Delta and US Airways blamed the automatic government spending cuts for reducing lucrative last-minute bookings.

AMR said that passengers flew 11.77 billion miles on American and Eagle last month, compared with 11.66 billion in March 2012.

International traffic rose 4.4 percent, but domestic traffic dropped 1.3 percent.

The two airlines increased capacity just 0.1 percent. With traffic growing faster than capacity, average occupancy per flight rose to 82.7 percent from 81.9 percent a year earlier.

Fort Worth-based AMR filed for bankruptcy protection in November 2011 and announced in February that it would merge with US Airways before exiting Chapter 11.