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Airline passenger totals keep rising

April 15, 2011 |  1:40 pm

Airlines LAX For 12 straight months, passenger totals and the percentage of airplane seats that are filled have increased for the nation's largest airlines.

The latest data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics show that U.S. airlines carried 53.7 million passengers in January, up 2.2% from a year earlier.

From February 2010 to January 2011, the number of passengers flying on U.S. airlines has increased each month, compared with the same month a year earlier.

In that same 12-month period, the percentage of airline seats filled on each flight -- known as the load factor -- has also increased each month, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

In January, the load factor for U.S. airlines was 76.5%, compared with 75.6% in January 2010.

-- Hugo Martin

Photo: Planes taxi on a runway at Los Angeles International Airport. Credit: Los Angeles Times