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American says March passenger traffic declined 0.6 percent

American Airlines canceled thousands of flights in March as it dealt with a severe winter storm at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. Star-Telegram/Ben Noey Jr.
American Airlines canceled thousands of flights in March as it dealt with a severe winter storm at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. Star-Telegram/Ben Noey Jr. Star-Telegram

American Airlines said its March passenger traffic dropped slightly, down 0.6 percent in March as the Fort Worth-based carrier dealt with late snowstorms.

The airline reported its capacity also dropped 0.9 percent as American canceled thousands of flights at its DFW hub during an early March winter storm. Its load factor was up 0.3 percentage points to 82.1 percent when compared to March 2014.

American narrowed its first quarter operating margin estimates on Friday, telling investors it expected operating margins to be in the 12 to 13 percent instead of the previous guidance of 12 to 14 percent.

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing made on Friday, American said it expects its total system capacity to be up 2 percent for 2015, down from its previous estimate of up 2 to 3 percent. The company said it ended the quarter with $9.9 billion in cash including $757 million in restricted cash.

For the first quarter, American said it expects to pay between $1.80 and $1.85 per gallon of jet fuel. The airline plans to announce its first quarter earnings on Friday, April 24.

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