U.S. Airlines Got Added Lift in August


American Airlines and Delta Air Lines (DAL) both reported traffic increases for August, while Continental Airlines (CAL) will recall 132 furloughed pilots, further indicating that air travel is on the rebound.

American's passenger traffic in August increased 3.1% from a year earlier, as a 7.1% jump in international demand offset the effect of little-changed domestic traffic, parent AMR Corp. (AMR) said in a statement on Sept. 3.

Delta's passenger traffic last month rose 1.1% from a year earlier, also largely on international demand. Overseas traffic increased 4.2%, while domestic demand fell 0.9%, the company said in a separate statement on Sept. 3.

The numbers reflect a return in airline-ticket demand that's been taking place all year. Airline-passenger revenue increased 20% in July from a year earlier, marking the seventh straight month revenue was up year-over-year, the Air Transport Association said last month.

Such air-traffic numbers also spell good news for those who work in the airline industry. Continental, which is in the process of being acquired by United Airlines (UAUA)., will recall 132 pilots who had been furloughed in 2008 because of increased traffic demand.