Regional airline operator SkyWest Inc. said Thursday that August traffic increased 4.6 percent compared with a year ago but there were a few more empty seats due to an ambitious expansion plan.
The company owns SkyWest Airlines and Atlantic Southeast Airlines, which operate regional flights for Delta and United.
Paying passengers flew 1.75 billion miles last month, up from 1.67 billion miles in August 2009.
The company increased capacity by 5.8 percent, to 2.17 billion available seat miles. That's a measure of miles flown multiplied by seats on the plane. Airlines increase capacity by adding flights or using bigger planes.
With capacity growing faster than demand, the average flight was 80.6 percent full, down from 81.5 percent a year earlier.
For the first eight months of the year, SkyWest and Atlantic Southeast saw traffic rise 8 percent while capacity grew 7.1 percent. The average flight was 79.7 percent full, up from 79.0 percent for the same period last year.