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US Airways Says US Budget Cuts Hurt Revenue

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US Airways said on Wednesday that federal budget cuts likely hurt unit revenue in March because of reduced last-minute demand for flights.

The carrier said unit revenue, a measure of pricing power and how full planes are, was flat in the month compared with a year earlier. US Airways added that result was lower than expected for March, and cited "reduced close-in demand believed to be driven largely by the sequester."

On Tuesday, Delta Air Lines cut its first-quarter forecast for unit revenue, or passenger revenue per available seat mile.

Delta had also said March unit revenue fell short of its expectations, citing lower-than-expected bookings due to automatic budget cuts mandated by sequestration and reduced demand as a result of attempts to raise prices.

US Airways, which plans to merge with American Airlines to create the world's biggest carrier, said consolidated traffic rose 5.2 percent in March as the number of passengers boarded rose 4.1 percent.

Load factor improved to 85.6 percent from 84 percent a year earlier.

(Reuters)

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