Early April traffic numbers offer hope for summer turnaround

U.S. carriers have begun reporting April traffic figures, and though the numbers are generally down, some analysts say there are signs of a pending recovery. At Continental Airlines, traffic was off 3.8% in April, much better than the 9.7% drop reported in May. American Airlines also saw smaller declines, with a 4.7% slide in April compared to 10.9% in March. Meanwhile, at AirTran Airways, traffic fell only 0.3% for the month. All three airlines said their planes flew fuller in March, boosting hopes for increased pricing power in the busy summer months.

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