SkyWest Inc., which operates regional service for major airlines, said Monday that September traffic rose 11 percent, faster than the company added flights.
Paying passengers on SkyWest and Atlantic Southeast flew 1.57 billion miles last month, up from 1.42 billion miles in September 2009.
Passenger-carrying capacity rose 10.5 percent to 1.99 billion available seat miles, a measure of one seat flown one mile. Airlines add capacity by increasing flights or using bigger planes.
With capacity rising nearly as fast as traffic, occupancy on the average flight didn't change much -- it rose to 78.9 percent from 78.6 a year earlier.
For the first nine months of the year, traffic was up 8.3 and capacity increased 7.5 percent.
SkyWest Airlines operates flights under the United Express and Delta Connection banners and also makes flights for AirTran Airways. Atlantic Southeast flies Delta Connection and United Express flights.