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Air travel up at RDU in September

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Raleigh-Durham International Airport posted a 3 percent gain in passengers in September, the first such increase since March.

The RDU Airport Authority also reported today that the amount of cargo moving through the airport increased 1.2 percent in September compared to the same month last year. And airline seat capacity increased for the first time in 28 months.

The numbers are a sign that airline travel is recovering after slumping badly during the economic downturn.

Airlines have been adding flights at RDU and other airports as demand has started to pick up and their own financial health has improved.

In August, Delta Air Lines announced that it would add nonstop flights to five new destinations beginning Nov. 1 at RDU. It is also increasing its daily departures from RDU to several cities.

Airlines reported their biggest profits in three years in the third quarter, a result of their limiting the number of seats for sale and pushing up fares. Many airlines have also been helped by charging additional fees for checked bags and other items.

In September, 728,758 passengers traveled through RDU. For the year, the number of passengers traveling through RDU is up 1 percent compared to the same period in 2009.

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About the blogger

Business reporter David Bracken came to the N&O in 2004. He covers commercial and residential real estate. Contact David at 919-829-4548 or e-mail him.