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American Airlines says planes not as full in March

American Airlines said planes were not as full and it flew less in March.

In a government filing, the Fort Worth-based carrier said its passenger traffic was down 1.2 percent in March as it shrunk its network capacity by 0.9 percent. Its passenger load factor also declined 0.2 percentage points to 81.5 percent.

The company also increased its first-quarter unit revenue estimates, telling investors to expect an increase of two to four percent as opposed to its previous guidance of 1.5 to 3.5 percent. American plans to release its quarterly earnings later this month.

American said its network capacity will grow 1.5 percent this year, mostly due to international growth. The carrier said it increased its capacity guidance due to successful pilot recruiting programs at its regional carriers Envoy Air, Piedmont Airlines and PSA Airlines.

Shares of American [ticker: AAL] were up slightly, trading around $42.70 at 9:45 a.m. CDT.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk