Southwest Airlines Traffic Dips, Revenue Measure Slows

Stat measures revenue for each mile times available seats

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    Southwest Airlines

    Southwest Airlines Co. says a key revenue measure rose just 2 percent in July, in another sign that it's becoming harder for airlines to raise fares amid a weak economy.

    The statistic measures revenue for each mile times available seats. It goes up when airlines raise prices, fill more seats, or do both.

    July's increase -- reported Tuesday -- was the smallest all year for Dallas-baesd Southwest, which includes its AirTran Airways subsidiary in the figures.

    The same thing happened at US Airways, which reported last week that the revenue statistic rose just 1 percent in July.

    The latest attempt to raise fares, led by United Airlines, failed this week when Southwest declined to match the higher prices.