DALLAS Traffic is up but a key revenue measure is down at Southwest Airlines Co. (LUV), indicating that carriers are finding it harder to sell high-priced tickets.
Dallas-based Southwest said Tuesday that passenger revenue per seat for every mile fell by between 4 percent and 5 percent in April. That's a closely watched measure of pricing power in the airline industry.
Southwest's report echoed last week's news from US Airways, which said that the revenue ratio fell 4 percent in April. US Airways said travel by government employees dropped after automatic federal spending cuts took effect.
The revenue ratio was flat at Southwest in March compared with the year before. It rose when carriers imposed frequent fare increases over the previous couple of years.