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Southwest October traffic up 1.3 percent

DALLAS (AP) -- Southwest Airlines Co. said on Thursday that its October traffic rose 1.3 percent as it added longer flights.

The number of people paying to fly on Southwest fell 1.3 percent last month, and it cut the number of flights by 3 percent. But remaining flights were longer, with capacity rising 2.4 percent, leading to the increase in traffic.

Because capacity rose faster than traffic, though, occupancy fell 0.8 percentage points to 79.9 percent.

For the first 10 months of the year, Southwest traffic is up 0.9 percent from the year before. Capacity has risen 1.6 percent. Occupancy has fallen 0.6 percentage points to 79.9 percent.

Southwest shares fell 5 cents to $17.75 in midday trading. They're near their 52-week high of $18.13.