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Southwest 3rd-busiest carrier at airport

| Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2005

Southwest Airlines continued to flex its money-saving muscles at Pittsburgh International Airport in June, becoming the facility's third-busiest air carrier in just its second month of operation.

In June, the Dallas-based discount airline carried 57,104 passengers, nearly 10,000 more flyers than it carried in May. Only US Airways, which loaded and unloaded 605,881 passengers, and Delta Airlines, which carried 71,526 passengers, finished the month ahead of Southwest at Pittsburgh International.

June figures show that every airline except US Airways reported a passenger increase at Pittsburgh International. Excluding US Airways, all other carriers handled 416,238 passengers, up 48.3 percent from June 2004's total of 280,726.

"When that many airlines report increased traffic figures, it is good news," Allegheny County Airport Authority Executive Director Kent G. George said in a statement. "People are taking advantage of the choices and lower fares available to them."

US Airways saw its June traffic count drop 40 percent year-over-year, to 605,881 from just over 1 million passengers last year. More than 1 million total passengers traveled through Pittsburgh International in June, the first time the million-passenger mark has been reached since October. Still, the airport's total was down 20.8 percent from June 2004.

The largest jump in passenger traffic on a percentage basis was recorded by Midwest Connect, which saw the number jump 143.1 percent, to 4,816 in June from 1,981 one year ago.

Through the first six months of 2005, total traffic loaded and unloaded was down 24.2 percent, to 5.2 million from 6.8 million in 2004.

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