August 5, 2009 / 10:04 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Air Canada says flew fuller planes in July

* July load factor 83.6 pct vs 83 pct a year ago

* Traffic down 3.3 pct

* Capacity declines 4.1 pct

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Air Canada ACa.TO flew fuller planes in July, despite a recession-driven slowdown in air travel, as it carefully managed its capacity during the traditionally busier summer months.

The airline said its consolidated load factor, the percentage of available seats that are filled with paying passengers, rose to 83.6 percent in July from 83 percent in the same month last year.

“Consolidated” figures include data from Jazz Air JAZ_u.TO, from which Air Canada buys regional flying capacity.

System traffic decreased 3.3 percent on a capacity reduction of 4.1 percent system wide, Air Canada said.

“This result, achieved despite persistent weakness in the global economy, is attributable to our disciplined approach to managing capacity, evidenced by the stable load factors across our entire global network,” Calin Rovinescu, Air Canada’s president and chief executive, said in a statement.

Rovinescu said Canada’s biggest airline was focused on securing customers’ loyalty and “working towards sustained profitability”. (Reporting by Nicole Mordant; editing by Rob Wilson)

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